Ali Ahmida participates in international conference in Istanbul on political change in the Arab world

April 08, 2014

Ali Ahmida, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, was invited to participate in an international conference that was organized by Stanford University and held in Istanbul, Turkey, March 27-28, 2014.  The conference was titled “Political Change in the Arab World:  Internal Dynamics and Regional Actors.”

Ahmida participated in panels and discussions.  He also presented a paper, “Post February 17 Revolution:  The Challenges of Transitional Justice, Truth and National Reconciliation in Libya."

The presentation discussed the urgency of transitional justice and national dialogue and reconciliation as prerequisites for building a third democratic republic in Libya. It argued that the most fundamental challenge facing Libya after the defeat of Qadhdhafi's regime is the unresolved divisions, trauma, exile, and displacement of many people inside and outside the country following the civil war.

Ahmida made four main points in the presentation:  First, a national dialogue is essential for a political compromise to find truth and bring about a return of supporters of the old regime who did not commit crimes. Second, a truth, justice and reconciliation commission is the best tool to achieve this objective. Third, there is a need to learn from both Libyan traditions and the experiences of other societies and commissions that are similar to Libya such as South Africa and Morocco. Finally, it is useful to seek the help of the United Nations.

Ahmida argued that unless there is truth, justice and national reconciliation, the future of the democratic transition in Libya is in trouble and it may end becoming a failed state.