Remarks on National Reconciliation, Security and the Constitution to be delivered same day as Benghazi hearings on Capitol Hill
(Tripoli, Libya) As key law makers in Washington DC gather on Capitol Hill Thursday for hearings on the attack in Benghazi that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens, the Karama organization announced today that the president-elect of Libya’s General National Congress, Mohammed Magarief would be the key note speaker at a conference addressing the critical role of security and reconciliation in the post Gadaffi regime. The conference titled, “Libya Platform for Peace: National Reconciliation, Security and Constitution,” is being convened by Karama, UN Women and the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace.
In making the announcement Karama’s founder, Hibaaq Osman said, “Having GNC President-elect Magarief deliver his remarks about Libya’s reconciliation, and long term security while much of the country still faces the threat of armed revolutionaries and no rule of law, is hugely important for long term stability. It is particularly timely given the Benghazi investigation.” The 3 day conference in Tripoli, also being attended by revolutionaries, intelligence officials, and newly elected female parliamentarians, comes at a key time for unifying the ideas of Libyans across all aspects of society who have agreed to work together to rebuild civil society from the ground up.
GNC President-elect Magareif is expected to address the need of fostering a long term meaningful dialogue between civil society, law makers and politicians that will raise awareness about constitutional drafting, security concerns and transitional justice initiatives. The issue of women and their rights will be a key element of the conference, given women make up 56% of Libya’s population. In July, when Libya held its first post Gadaffi elections, the country’s first since 1952, one of the biggest signs of progress was for the inclusion and representation of women who won approximately 16.5 percent of seats.
“Creating a platform for people from different backgrounds to build consensus is what we want to achieve here,” said Zahra Langhi, co-founder of Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace. Fellow attendee, Benghazi resident, Hana el Gallal who lead many of the revolutionaries in the fight to overthrow Gadaffi said, “We saw inequality with Gadaffi. Now we are fighting for our own rights. It’s a long path and we will do it slowly. Freedom is a fight. It’s not given to us.”
Added Ms. Osman, “While security turmoil and uncertainty continue, having GNC President-elect Magarief confront them head on at this conference with numerous parties involved in the revolution is a major step in the right direction. As we have seen in the Arab uprisings across the region women have been at the forefront of change. Their voices are being heard, and now the President and other key decision makers in Libya are listening.”
Hussein bin Hamid, a revolutionary commander participating in the conference added, “At this conference we have the opportunity to discuss sensitive and important points on the current situation in Libya, and we hope that government officials and responsible leaders will take our recommendations into consideration.”
Karama, the Arabic word for dignity, is an organization based in Cairo, Egypt which envisions a democratic Arab society free of all forms of violence and discrimination and violence, based on equal rights and citizenship. Karama’s partners include organizations in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya. Further information can be found at wwww.el-karama.org or by emailing NH@NicollaHewitt.com