Support for Libya Must Help Break Political Stalemate, Serve to Unite, Not Divide Parties, Senior Official Tells Security Council
Country Representative Calls on 15-Nation Organ to Shoulder Its Responsibility, Protect Civilians, Implement Resolutions
Deeply concerned by the ongoing political stalemate in Libya and outbursts of violence in Tripoli that claimed more than 40 lives this week, a United Nations senior official told Security Council members that all parties need to support efforts to move the country toward essential elections.
Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, introducing the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (document S/2022/632), said that the United Nations has continued to engage with Libyan actors to facilitate a resolution of the political impasse. However, the ongoing stalemate and continued delays have posed a growing threat to security in and around Tripoli, which materialized on 27 August, when violent clashes between armed groups broke out in the capital. According to the Libyan authorities, at least 42 people were killed, including four civilians.
She stressed that, as the political and security climate in Tripoli deteriorates, the United Nations must enhance its good offices and mediation to help Libyan actors resolve the ongoing impasse and seek a consensual pathway to elections. Still, despite two meetings between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, and the President of the High State Council, Khaled Mishri, disagreements persisted, particularly on the eligibility criteria for presidential candidates.
However, she also pointed to positive developments, including the ongoing efforts of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission to preserve and strengthen the Ceasefire Agreement’s implementation and the General Assembly of the Supreme Court of Libya decision to restore the Court’s Constitutional Chamber, which had been suspended since 2016. “Libyans, themselves, are responsible for determining their own future,” she emphasized, adding that any support that the parties receive from within or outside Libya should serve to unite them, not divide them.
Ruchira Kamboj (India), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya, also briefed the Council, presenting the Committee’s forty-sixth report, which covered the period from 27 May to 30 August 2022. In her briefing, she detailed aspects of the arms embargo, travel bans and assets freeze related to Libya, including the intention to convene “informal informals” to discuss assets freeze-related matters.
Before the floor opened, Council members, at the request of the Libyan representative, stood and observed a moment of silence for the victims who have lost their lives since 2011. In the ensuing debate, speakers, expressing alarm at the recent violence in Tripoli, urged all parties to return to negotiations to establish fair and democratic elections.
Libya’s representative said that he requested he speak first at today’s meeting to convey the questions of Libya’s citizens and hear the Council’s response to the families of the victims, adding: “they are listening to you now”. Commenting that he was “tired of repeating the same statements”, he asked whether the Council would repeat its expressions of condemnation or shoulder its responsibility to maintain international peace and security and protect civilians. He stressed, however, that the Council is not being asked to intervene. Instead, it should be serious about implementing its resolutions and avoiding double standards.
Brazil’s delegate, recalling Libya’s concerns about how the Council has treated the situation, stressed: “We must listen to the Libyan parties’ concerns.” The appointment of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) leadership is one instance where views from within Libya cannot be ignored. Most importantly, UNSMIL must continue to foster common political ground between the two rival Governments so they can agree on a constitutional basis and the eligibility criteria for holding elections.
Albania’s representative pointed out that the recent fighting “has been a long time coming”. The protracted political impasse exacerbated the country’s increasingly volatile security situation. “Sadly, what we are facing today is the worst display of institutional rivalry through militias,” he observed. He called on Libyan stakeholders to put the Libyan people’s interests over their own narrow interests, stressing that only an elected, legitimate Government can meet the needs of the Libyan people.
The representative of China, Council President for August, spoke in his national capacity to welcome the recent preparatory meeting of Libyan parties held in the Republic of the Congo under the auspices of the African Union on reconciliation, noting that they had reached consensus on the next stage of that work. He pointed to external interference as the main reason for the unresolved situation in Libya, adding that the United Nations is the main avenue for extending good offices.
Kenya’s representative, also speaking for Gabon and Ghana, called on Libya’s leaders to heed the people’s desire for peace and accept that no one side of the political divide will ever have a monopoly of force or political determination. Underscoring that Libya and Africa “have suffered enough”, he emphasized that the continent must collectively resist being divided for powerful foreign interests that only care for their own advantage and manoeuvres against each.
Ireland’s delegate stated that nearly two years have passed since the ceasefire agreement delivered fragile stability toward weary Libyans and it is now past time to fully implement that agreement. “Legitimacy comes only from the Libyan people. Legitimacy comes only from the ballot box. The current executive impasse can only be addressed through the holding of free, fair and inclusive elections,” she said.
Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, Norway, Russian Federation, India, United States, United Arab Emirates, France, Mexico, Ireland, and China.
The meeting began at 3:09 p.m. and ended at 4:39 p.m.
ROSEMARY DICARLO, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, introducing the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (document S/2022/632), said that since the last Security Council meeting on Libya on 25 July, the United Nations has continued to engage with Libyan actors — at all levels — to facilitate a resolution of the political impasse. However, the ongoing stalemate and continued delays in implementing the electoral process pose a growing threat to security in and around Tripoli, and potentially to all Libyans. That threat materialized just a few days ago on 27 August, when Tripoli was again the theatre of violent clashes between armed groups. According to the Libyan authorities, at least 42 people were killed, including four civilians, and 159 were injured in the clashes.
Also expressing concern at the limited political progress during the reporting period, she said that the United Nations has consistently underscored that elections remain the only way to break the current impasse. Despite continued efforts, no progress has been made on forging a consensus on a constitutional framework for the elections. After a meeting in Geneva in June, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, and the President of the High State Council, Khaled Mishri, held discussions in Türkiye on 1 August and in Egypt on 14 August. Regrettably, disagreements persisted, particularly on the eligibility criteria for presidential candidates. “I urge both leaders to complete the work accomplished by the Joint Constitutional Committee. It is critical that an agreement is reached on a constitutional framework and timeline for elections that will enable the Libyan people to choose their leaders,” she said.
She went on to note that one of the few positive developments during the reporting period was the ongoing efforts of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission to preserve and strengthen the ceasefire agreement’s implementation. Another positive note was the General Assembly of the Supreme Court of Libya voting on 18 August to restore the Court’s Constitutional Chamber, which had been suspended since 2016. The Chamber’s reactivation could help resolve disputes over the legitimacy of decisions taken by Libyan institutions. Turning to economic developments, she said oil production resumed on 17 July and by July’s end, production had reached pre-shutdown levels of 1.2 million barrels per day. The Libyan National Oil Corporation announced plans to further increase oil production capacity.
Yet growing public discontent in the southern region over lack of basic services and poor living conditions may lead to renewed closures of oil fields in the area, she continued. On 21 August, local dignitaries threatened to form a parallel Government in the south if their demands for respect of their rights to basic services and stronger representation in State institutions were not met. As well, human rights violations in Libya continue to be a major concern, including violence against women activists and their unlawful arrest and detention. Migrants and refugees also continue to suffer serious human rights violations. According to the latest figures, 2,661 migrants and refugees are being arbitrarily detained in official detention centres with restricted humanitarian access. The United Nations continues to call for the immediate release of all those who are arbitrarily detained and for due process for those charged with contravening Libyan laws, she added.
“It is critical that all Libyan actors maintain calm on the ground, refrain from escalatory rhetoric and actions, and take immediate steps to reverse the political polarization that is spilling over into violence,” she emphasized. With the deteriorating political and security climate in Tripoli, the United Nations must continue to provide and enhance good offices and mediation to help Libyan actors resolve the ongoing impasse and seek a consensual pathway to elections. “Libyans, themselves, are responsible for determining their own future,” she said, adding that any support that the parties receive from within or outside Libya should serve to unite them, not divide them. She urged all parties to support the efforts of the Secretary-General, who has offered a number of proposals for the leadership of the Mission and his good offices.
RUCHIRA KAMBOJ (India), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya, presented the forty-sixth report, covering the period from 27 May to 30 August 2022. She recalled that on 13 July, the Council adopted resolution 2644 (2022), extending the time-bound measures aimed at preventing illicit exports of petroleum from Libya, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, to 30 October 2023. The arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze were not time-bound and continue to apply. The Council also extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts to 15 November 2023. On 12 August, the Secretary-General appointed six individuals to serve on the Panel.
Recalling that her predecessor informed the Council that the Committee was considering recommendations from the final report of the Panel under its previous mandate, she said the Committee agreed to take action on the three recommendations addressed to it, as well as on a recommendation addressed to all Member States. Regarding the arms embargo, she reported that the Committee received two attempted inspection reports and two vessel inspection reports from the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI. One of the inspections led to a seizure of cargo, and the Committee expects a second report to be submitted following the submission of the initial report. Committee members expressed varying views on the seizure of the cargo. The Committee also received a letter from the Panel of Experts concerning the cargo related to this inspection.
Turning next to the assets freeze, she said the Committee took no negative decision on the exemption notification submitted by Bahrain invoking paragraph 19(a) of resolution 1970 (2011). Regarding the notification submitted by the United Kingdom, also invoking paragraph 19(a), the Committee recalled its previous position, whereby the notification had been cleared in the Committee. No negative decision was taken by the Committee in relation to another case brought up by the United Kingdom invoking paragraph 19(a) of resolution 1970 (2011). The Committee further received two notifications from Bahrain invoking paragraph 21 of that resolution. The Committee acknowledged receipt of one of those notifications, whereas a response is being considered for the second. The Committee received a letter from Libya on matters related to the Libyan Investment Authority, a listed entity, to which it responded. In accordance with two recommendations agreed by the Committee from the Panel’s final report, the Chair intends to convene “informal informals” to discuss assets freeze-related matters” she explained.
On the travel ban, she said the Committee extended for a third time the six-month exemption request, granted for humanitarian purposes, to three individuals on the Committee’s list: Safia Farkash Al-Barassi, Aisha Al-Qadhafi and Mohammed Al-Qadhafi. It received a travel notification from Ms. Al-Qadhafi under the exemption for travel to Italy. In accordance with the travel ban related recommendation agreed by the Committee from the Panel’s final report, the Committee will consider a letter to Italy regarding this travel, reminding of the destination country’s notification requirement. Earlier, the Committee received a letter from Egypt confirming Ms. Al-Barassi’s travel from Egypt to Oman and back. An initial notification for this travel was submitted by the listed individual, she said, and reported by her predecessor to the Council.
Regarding the sanctions list, she said the Committee received a seventh communication from the De-listing Focal Point established pursuant to resolution 1730 (2006), in connection with the de-listing request of a listed individual. The Focal Point process is ongoing. In accordance with a recommendation agreed by the Committee from the Panel’s final report, the Committee updated an existing entry on its sanctions list and issued a corresponding press release and note verbale to all Member States.
Lastly, she said the Committee replied to a communication from Italy that touched on the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the Experts. She emphasized that the primary responsibility to implement sanctions measures rests with Member States, adding that the Committee is committed to facilitating implementation of those measures and seeks to foster peace and stability in Libya.
TAHER M. T. ELSONN (Libya), emphasizing that he is “tired of repeating the same statements”, said that what is important today is to listen to what is said in the Council regarding the organ’s plans following the latest series of tragic events. There is nothing positive to note since last month’s briefing, as the political stalemate persists, along with military tension. Children are dying from scorpion stings due to lack of medication; families are dying while attempting to emigrate to Europe in “boats of death”; more mass graves have been uncovered in Tarhouna; and fuel is scarce. All this preceded the recent, bloody events in Tripoli, which were themselves not surprising. Recalling his previous warnings about the repercussions of the political stalemate, he said the events in the capital that claimed the lives of 32 people and injured 61 in less than 24 hours were not the first of their kind, nor will they be the last.
Noting that Libya asked to speak first in today’s meeting to convey the questions of its citizens to the Council and hear what the organ has to say to the families of victims, he stressed that “they are listening to you now”. He asked whether, in response, the Council will repeat its expressions of condemnation or, rather, shoulder its responsibility to maintain international peace and security and protect civilians. He stressed, however, that the Council is not being asked to intervene, noting that many actors have already done so and that “a believer shall not be stung from the same pit twice”; instead, the Council should be serious about implementing its resolutions and avoiding double standards. Asking those present to stand and observe a moment of silence for the victims who lost their lives from 2011 to today, he underscored that today’s victims do not care about analyses, justifications or who is right and who is wrong. Instead, they care about accountability. He asked whether the Council will contribute in this regard.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom), condemning the violence perpetrated by armed groups in Tripoli on 26 and 27 August, underscored that the use of violence by armed groups, whether to acquire control of territory or local resources or to end political stalemates, is unacceptable. Such violence is a result of the presence of parallel Governments and the misappropriation of State resources. Libyan parties and the international community must acknowledge that there is no military solution to Libya’s crisis of legitimacy. Rather, all Libyan parties must engage constructively with the United Nations-brokered political process supported by the wider international community to agree on a path toward free, fair and inclusive elections as soon as possible. Moreover, the resources of the Libyan people must be managed in a transparent, responsible and accountable manner. He encouraged Council members to agree to the appointment of the Special Representative immediately and to stand ready to support that Special Representative to deliver an inclusive and comprehensive political process. Noting that a number of diplomatic missions have faced restrictions on their movement within Libya in recent weeks, he said Libyan authorities must allow full freedom of movement and travel within the territory in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
TRINE SKARBOEVIK HEIMERBACK (Norway) said she was saddened by the loss of lives during the clashes in Tripoli last weekend. Joining the call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around Tripoli, she urged all parties to exercise restraint, contribute to de-escalation and return to the negotiation table. The latest round of fighting showed yet again that this conflict cannot be solved by military means, she stressed, adding that a political solution in Libya is the only way forward. “The Libyan people have made it clear that they want elections — not violence and conflict,” she emphasized. Thus, Libyan leaders must redouble their efforts to agree to a constitutional framework for elections and find peaceful solutions. She welcomed the meeting between the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in Sirte earlier this month, where ceasefire monitoring and withdrawal of foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya was discussed. As well, the end of the oil blockade was a positive development, she said, adding that the proceeds from Libya’s oil production should benefit all Libyans and not be held hostage to political rivalry. She reiterated the importance of appointing a Special Representative for Libya as UNMSIL needs stable and predictable leadership to fulfil its mandate in Libya.
JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO (Brazil) recalled Libya’s concerns about how the Council has treated the situation, stressing: “We must listen to the Libyan parties’ concerns.” Resolution 2647 (2022) also underlines the importance of institution-building; security-sector reform; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; and the engagement of Libyan parties with United Nations bodies. The appointment of UNSMIL leadership is one instance where views from within Libya cannot be ignored. Most importantly, UNSMIL must continue to foster common political ground between the two rival Governments so they can agree on a constitutional basis and the eligibility criteria for holding elections. Calls in the Council for continued oil production and exports come amid political disputes over the management of natural resources. In the absence of unified Government policy, the parameter for management, as a corollary of Libyan sovereignty, should be domestic preservation, in the interest of development and the well-being of all Libyans — not foreign interests. The same is true for the Libyan assets frozen abroad. While the Panel of Experts found that the management of Libyan frozen assets is not in line with resolution 1970 (2011), the Council has been unable to address the situation, he said, also stressing the importance of respecting the arms embargo, to be implemented in accordance with relevant Council resolutions.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation), expressing his concern regarding the latest events and noting that they were a result of the political stalemate, called on Libyan leaders to turn to dialogue. Violence is a road to nowhere and heated exchanges of rhetoric are not helpful. The source of the current chaos is a result of the military intervention in 2011, which violated Council resolutions. That intervention was a de facto dismantling of Libya’s statehood. Eleven years later, the country is still trying to overcome past events. Western colleagues are worried about other topics, such as oil production, rather than the well-being of Libyans. The way out of the difficulties is through prepared national elections, he stressed, adding that the Russian Federation welcomes all roads to peace. All parties, including representatives of the former regime, must be involved. The United Nations should play an important part and, to that end and UNSMIL is a key player in that regard. Unfortunately, the Mission continues to operate without a leader, he said, stressing that it is unacceptable that there is not an intermediary. He voiced his hope that a Special Representative be appointed as quickly as possible with the candidate appointed by Secretariat. The support of key Libyan players and the Council is needed.
RUCHIRA KAMBOJ (India) underscored that the immediate priority is to hold presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible in a free, fair, inclusive and credible manner. She voiced disappointment that consensus eludes the parties on transitional measures governing the period leading to national elections. “Terrorist groups and affiliated entities must not be allowed to operate unchallenged,” she stressed, pointing out that terrorism emanating from Libya is bound to have cascading effects on the Sahel region. She pressed for the full withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries, citing a lack of progress on this front. Quoting the recent Panel of Experts report, she said “the remainder of the training provided by Türkiye to the Government of National Unity Affiliated Forces is military or naval in nature and thus a violation of paragraph 9 of United Nations Security Council resolution 1970 (2011)”. The report also notes the presence of “Turkish-backed Syrian fighters” in the Tripoli camps of those forces, activities that violate the ceasefire agreement agreed by Libyan parties themselves in 2020. Libya’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity must be safeguarded, she affirmed. Its political process must be fully Libyan-led and Libyan-owned with no external interference.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) said the violence that erupted in Tripoli over the weekend is the outcome of Libya’s political leaders “abject failure” to place the common good above their political interests. Recalling the inflammatory rhetoric and sporadic violence among militias, foreign fighters and foreign forces over the past months, he pointed to recent events, in May and last weekend, where incendiary remarks and unilateral action escalated and where the latest violence claimed lives. He voiced deep concern over the belligerence of rival leaders, the manoeuvring by militias for political and military advantage, and the continued flow of weapons into the country, contravening the arms embargo. The Libyan people are losing hope that their leaders can agree constitutional framework for elections and that their country can be free from foreign influence. Instead, they are deprived basic services, while the powerful cut deals to divvy up hydrocarbon resources, particularly to militias controlled by various factions, robbing Libyans of their national wealth. He called for the immediate appointment of a new Special Representative. For its part, the United States will support United Nations efforts to secure a framework for elections, he said, stressing that those obstructing the political process or supporting armed groups through the illicit export of crude oil may be subject to sanctions. He urged the House of Representatives Speaker and High State Council President to engage with UNSMIL and the Special Representative to finalize the eligibility requirements for candidates and to commit to an election calendar.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania) said that recent fighting “has been a long time coming”. The protracted political impasse intensified the legitimacy void, which exacerbated the increasingly volatile security situation in the country. “Sadly, what we are facing today is the worst display of institutional rivalry through militias,” he said. While the stalemate generates the false impression that the longstanding crisis can be resolved through imposition — rather than dialogue — he underscored that Libya’s future is closely intertwined with the success of the political process. Who should run the country and how its wealth will be distributed cannot be decided by guns; rather, it must be decided by ballots. Calling on Libyan stakeholders to put the interests of the Libyan people over their own narrow interests, he stressed that only an elected, legitimate Government can meet the needs of the Libyan people. Thus, the electoral process must be an “absolute priority”.
MARTIN KIMANI (Kenya), also speaking for Gabon and Ghana, expressed concern over the recent outbreak of clashes in Tripoli and called on Libya’s leaders to heed the people’s desire for peace and security. This can only be achieved by wholly embracing that the Libyan people’s destiny is to be united. Further, it also means accepting no one side of the political divide will ever have a monopoly of force or political determination. While the clashes may appear to offer a temporary advantage, this is a “dangerous illusion”, he stressed, stating that they only offer an opportunity to those who would benefit from a reversal of efforts towards reconciliation. He called for an end to all inflammatory remarks by political leaders — and the corresponding movement and mobilization of armed groups. He also called for the prompt nomination of an African Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
Sustained mediation must be offered and accepted by all sides to enable Libya to end the transitional phase and elect an inclusive Government, he emphasized, also calling on the political leadership and people of Libya to resist external influences that are undermining the push for unity. Underscoring that Libya and Africa “have suffered enough” — and that the continent must collectively resist being divided for powerful foreign interests that only care for their own advantage and manoeuvres against each other — he demanded the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces, fighters and mercenaries from Libya. Further, he called for the protection of Libya’s oil sector from politicization and manipulation by external influences and demanded that those involved in the inhumane treatment of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers desist from this human rights abuse.
AMIERA ALHEFEITI (United Arab Emirates) called on all Libyan parties to take concrete steps to unify the military institutions and address lawlessness and fighting among armed groups in Tripoli and its suburbs. Voicing support for the statement made by UNSMIL regarding the immediate need to cease hostilities, she stressed the importance of the simultaneous, phased, gradual and balanced withdrawal of all foreign forces and fighters, and mercenaries from Libya. The time has come for the Libyan parties to make the necessary concessions to reach an agreement on the remaining contentious points in the draft constitution and to then hold parliamentary and presidential elections, she said, noting that they are necessary steps to end the stalemate in the political process. The national reconciliation project plays a critical role in supporting efforts aimed at advancing the political process and sustaining lasting peace across all Libyan regions. In accordance with Security Council resolutions and the concerns of Libyans, the rights of the Libyan people and the protection of their resources and frozen assets should remain a top priority.
SHERAZ GASRI (France) called on Libyan stakeholders to finalize the constitutional basis necessary for the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections without further delay. On the security front, she said the achievements of the ceasefire agreement must be preserved, notably the freedom of movement throughout Libyan territory, as well as the dialogue between the main security stakeholders. This is essential to launch a process of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration process, and to make progress in implementing the plan for withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries. The resumption of oil production is a positive step and must be sustained. Also needed is the establishment of a fair and transparent mechanism for the distribution of oil revenues for the benefit of the whole population. Expressing concern about violation of rights of migrants and refugees, she said her country will continue to work to combat impunity. It will also work with Council members to renew the authorization allowing the inspection of vessels suspected of trafficking migrants off the coast of Libya. She called for the swift appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General and stakeholders’ flexibility to facilitate that appointment.
ENRIQUE JAVIER OCHOA MARTÍNEZ (Mexico), expressing his concern about the recent clashes, the deaths of civilians and the damage to infrastructure, urged the Council to condemn such violence. To move out of the political stalemate through force is a high price for civilians to pay. The lives and heritage of Libyans are being threatened by political actors. Yet there is indifference from the international community. Turning to the situation of migrants, he said regional mobilization is crucial to help settle that issue. Regional bodies, such as the African Union, can bolster those efforts. In light of the inability of the Council to agree on a head of UNMSIL, regional action is necessary. Further, there needs to be a strict application of the embargo on weapons in order to avoid the worsening of violence and more situations like the one that happened recently. Stressing that it is urgent a Special Representative be appointed in order to bring the parties together, he underscored that it was crucial for the stability of Libya and the whole region.
CÁIT MORAN (Ireland), addressing Libya’s leaders, said: "Legitimacy comes only from the Libyan people. Legitimacy comes only from the ballot box. The current executive impasse can only be addressed through the holding of free, fair and inclusive elections.” Condemning online hate speech and incitement to violence targeting women activists, she stressed that the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women in public life, including a future electoral process, must be guaranteed. She also spotlighted the restrictions on the activities of international organizations working with migrants and urged the authorities to grant full humanitarian access. As well, the Council must unanimously renew resolution 2240 (2015) on migrant smuggling and human trafficking next month. Nearly two years have passed since the ceasefire agreement delivered fragile stability toward weary Libyans and it is now past time to fully implement that agreement. In April, the Council tasked UNSMIL with implementing important reforms recommended by the Strategic Review, she recalled, adding that a Special Representative is needed on the ground to carry out that vital task and to navigate UNSMIL through Libya’s transition.
DAI BING (China), Council President for August, spoke in his national capacity to express deep concern that recent clashes in Tripoli resulted in over 200 casualties. He called on leaders to exert maximum restraint, resolve differences through dialogue and do their utmost to avoid all violence. He encouraged the 5+5 Joint Military Commission to play a critical role in upholding the ceasefire and facilitating the departure of foreign forces, stressing that political efforts are the only viable means to resolve the crisis. He welcomed that parties agreed on most elements on the constitutional basis for elections, voicing hope they would strive for the middle ground and soon reach an agreement that will lead to elections. He also welcomed that Libyan parties held a preparatory meeting in the Republic of the Congo, under the auspices of the African Union, on reconciliation and reached consensus on the next stage of that work. Pointing to external interference as the main reason for the unresolved situation in Libya, he said the United Nations is the main avenue for extending good offices. Urging UNSMIL to promote dialogue among Libya’s parties, he encouraged the Secretariat to increase communication and mutual trust with those directly involved in the appointment of a new Special Representative. He also welcomed the full resumption of Libya’s oil production, noting that distribution of the resource dividend should benefit all Libyans.