Successful Elections in Libya Hinge on All Citizens’ Voices Being Heard, Special Representative Tells Security Council
Many Delegates Say Full Withdrawal of Foreign Fighters from Country Vital
It is vital for the success of elections that all parts of Libyan society are involved and have their voices heard, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today, noting that the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) will intensify its mediation to support the realization of all political, legal and security requirements so elections can be held in 2023.
Abdoulaye Bathily, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of UNSMIL, said he facilitated the 5+5 Joint Military Commission’s engagement with Libyan security and military actors — including armed groups from western, eastern and southern Libya ‑ to promote the country’s territorial integrity, further national reconciliation, strengthen the ceasefire and mobilize all armed actors for election security. In Tunis, Tripoli, Benghazi and Sebha, leaders and representatives of military units and security formations operating in all three regions of Libya committed to support the elections, reject violence, ensure the safe return of internally displaced persons and release detainees.
He underscored that, for elections to take place in 2023, the electoral laws must be completed in time for the High National Elections Commission to begin implementing the electoral process by early July. Besides finalizing the constitutional and legal framework for elections, a level playing field is needed that engenders trust in elections among all sides, he observed, noting that UNSMIL is considering the Government’s request for electoral assistance. On the return of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, he said the leaders of Sudan, Chad and Niger highlighted challenges, such as porous borders, dynamics in their countries and varying motivations for the presence of these armed elements. In that regard, he said the withdrawal of foreign fighters should be conducted in a synchronized manner to ensure that they do not become a threat to the security of their home countries.
Ishikane Kimihiro (Japan), briefing the 15-member organ in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011), detailed its work between 17 December 2022 and 18 April 2023. During this reporting period, the Committee held one meeting in informal consultations, during which it heard a presentation by the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts on the interim report of the Panel and agreed to act on one of the recommendations. The interim report ‑ submitted to the Council on 15 March ‑ highlights aspects related to the implementation of the travel ban, assets freezes, arms embargo and measures in relation to attempts to illicitly export petroleum, including references to incidents of non-compliance. On the implementation of the arms embargo measures, he said the Committee received a written report on a seizure of cargo previously reported and an attempted inspection report from the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI.
As Council members took the floor, many expressed hope that the Special Representative’s proposal to establish a high-level panel for elections will contribute to bringing all Libyan stakeholders together, in a manner that fosters genuine intra-Libyan dialogue. Numerous speakers underscored that foreign mercenaries and fighters must withdraw fully, calling for strict adherence to the arms embargo.
The representative of Mozambique, also speaking for Gabon and Ghana, said that, despite the tense situation and security incidents in Libya, the 2020 ceasefire agreement continues to hold. He strongly condemned the presence of foreign forces on Libyan soil, as it undermines the country’s territorial integrity and ownership of the peace process. Against this backdrop, he commended the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and Liaison Committees for their efforts to facilitate the full withdrawal of foreign forces and foreign fighters from Libya. Voicing concern over the threat that the return of these fighters pose to the stability in the Sahel, he stressed the need for coordinated action.
The representative of France, underlining the importance of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of militias, welcomed the establishment of liaison committees with Chad, Niger and Sudan for the withdrawal of African mercenaries. Sounding alarm over human rights violations committed in Libya, he said foreign militias and mercenaries act with total impunity. Condemning enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture and sexual violence committed against migrants, he called on the Libyan authorities to put an end to these violations and hold their perpetrators to account. Further, he reiterated his Government’s commitment to the arms embargo.
The representative of China, highlighting the need for a Libyan-led and ‑owned process that accommodates the legitimate concerns of all parties, warned against the imposition of external solutions. Stressing the need to consolidate the peace and security mechanism, he noted that the 5+5 Joint Military Commission has held many meetings, with parties actively discussing the establishment of a unified security institution. He further emphasized that the revenues from the oil industry should benefit Libyan people, calling on the Council and the Committee to pay attention to the Libyan authorities’ concern regarding the loss of frozen assets.
The representative of Brazil encouraged the delivery of concrete results by the 6+6 Committee on the remaining issues in preparation for national elections. The meetings of several Libyan military and security leaders in Tunis, Tripoli and Benghazi, over the past weeks and months, reflect their commitment to creating an environment conducive to elections which will be key for the success of the political transition through the ballot box. He also described the recent reinvigoration of liaison committees with neighbouring countries on the part of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission as an important step towards the coordinated withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya.
Rounding up the discussion, the representative of Libya said many of the statements made here have no real relationship to the realities on the ground. The Libyan people remain confused by the conundrum in which the Council calls on them to respect its outcomes and resolutions, but also insists on a purely Libyan-led and -owned solution. Highlighting the success of the dialogues taking place currently on the constitutional path, he said the Libyan people do not care about legal details or who is right and who is wrong, they want an end to the fighting.
Underling his country’s need for assistance to complete all the vulnerable stages of a political transitions, he commended the Council’s decision to send a team to assess the country’s technical and logistical support needs as it undertakes the electoral process. The stability of the region is crucial, he asserted, adding that the south of Libya continues to suffer from external interference. He expressed hope that the recent “rapprochement between influential regional players” will lead to a compromise that will break the current crisis. Regarding immigration and terrorism, he said the responsibility is collective, and if it was not for the adverse interferences of recent years, this situation would not have happened.
Also speaking were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States, Malta, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Albania, Ecuador and the Russian Federation.
The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 11:58 a.m.
ABDOULAYE BATHILY, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said he has engaged the country’s key political leaders through shuttle diplomacy to make compromises that will clear the path to elections there. He has also engaged individual political parties and coalitions of political forces, traditional leaders and notables, and women and youth group leaders from all regions. For purposes of promoting Libya’s territorial integrity, furthering national reconciliation, strengthening the ceasefire and mobilizing all armed actors for election security, he facilitated the “5+5 Joint Military Commission’s” engagement with Libyan security and military actors, including armed groups from all three regions of Libya. At the invitation of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, he recently facilitated meetings in Tunis, Tripoli, Benghazi and Sebha. On these occasions, leaders and representatives of military units and security formations operating in western, eastern and southern Libya committed to support all stages of elections, reject violence, take practical steps for the safe return of internally displaced persons, release detainees and address the missing persons issue in the context of national reconciliation. As a result of these consultations, on 8 April, Libyan National Army authorities released six detainees from western Libya.
Furthermore, he held several rounds of consultations in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sebha, with Libyans from all three regions representing civil society, women, youth and political parties to amplify their demands for greater inclusion of Libya’s leaders and institutions. This axis of engagement also aims to ensure the adoption of a code of conduct that commits all candidates to engage in the electoral process in a constructive manner and accept the results. In this context, he encouraged women and youth to continue their engagement with all actors so that their concerns are addressed in the road map to elections. It is vital for the success of elections that all parts of Libyan society are involved and have their voices heard, and that the electoral campaign provides an opportunity for a peaceful competition of visions and not an occasion that triggers hate speech and violence.
He went on to emphasize that, for elections to take place this year, the electoral laws must be completed in time for the High National Elections Commission to begin implementing the electoral process by early July. While awaiting the electoral laws and the provision of necessary funds, the Commission has started initial preparations for implementing the electoral process, he observed, calling on the Government to provide the Commission with all necessary resources to complete its mandated tasks in a timely manner. For its part, UNSMIL is considering the Government’s request for electoral assistance. Besides finalizing the constitutional and legal framework for elections, a level playing field is needed that does not give undue advantage to particular candidates and that engenders trust in elections among all sides. Against this backdrop, he called on Libya’s leaders to follow their stated commitment to elections with mutually acceptable solutions. He commended the Presidency Council for its efforts to establish a national financial oversight mechanism for transparent and equitable spending of Libya’s vast public resources, an important element to ensure that public funds are not used to the advantage of any side.
Turning to the security situation in Libya, he said it remains tense, the ceasefire continues to hold and there were positive developments on cooperation between the Libyan Army and the Libyan National Army and on the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries. On the margins, Liaison Committees from Libya, Sudan, Chad and Niger met to discuss strengthening cooperation and exchange of information on mercenaries and fighters from Libya’s southern neighbours present in the country. UNSMIL also convened Libyan ceasefire monitors from both sides together with focal points from the Joint Military Commission to highlight capacity-building needs for the Libyan monitors and discuss activating their joint operations centre.
Recalling his recent travels to Sudan, Chad and Niger to discuss with the leaders of those countries how to improve conditions for the return of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, he said his interlocutors highlighted challenges, such as porous borders, local and national dynamics in their countries and varying motivations for the presence of these armed elements in Libya. The withdrawal of foreign fighters should be conducted in a synchronized manner to ensure that they do not become a threat to the security of their home countries. Moreover, he continued, this process should also contribute to combating terrorism, illegal gold mining, human and drug trafficking and all forms of criminality that affect the border areas.
Turning to the human rights situation, he said “it continues to be tense”. During the reporting period, civic space has been further restricted and operations of civil society organizations deemed illegal. On 27 March, the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya issued its final report, which expressed concern on the situation and recommended further efforts to combat impunity. Accordingly, he urged Libyan authorities to rise to their human rights obligations and end impunity. The international community should also remain vigilant to further enable the activity of Libya’s institutions and political actors towards elections. “All international partners should support the current momentum and speak with one voice on Libyan matters,” he declared. For its part, UNSMIL will intensify its mediation to support the realization of all political, legal and security requirements so elections can be held in 2023, he asserted.
ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan), in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011), presented its forty-eighth report, covering the period 17 December 2022 to 18 April 2023, during which it met once in informal consultations on 3 March 2023. During that meeting, the Committee heard a presentation by the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts on the interim report of the Panel and agreed to act on one of the recommendations. As a follow up, the Sanctions List was updated by incorporating past changes to the list entries in the respective narrative summaries. The interim report, which highlights aspects related to the implementation of the travel ban, assets freezes, the arms embargo and measures in relation to attempts to illicitly export petroleum, including references to incidents of non-compliance, was submitted to the Council on 15 March, he added.
Turning to the implementation of the arms embargo measures, he added that the Committee received a written report on a seizure of cargo previously reported and an attempted inspection report from the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI. The Committee also received a letter from Libya on matters related to the arms embargo. He also pointed to various other notifications, including a request submitted by Morocco to authorize the export of explosive items and non-explosive products to Libya and a note verbale from Malta in connection with an arms embargo exemption request previously approved. Regarding the assets freeze measures, he said, no negative decision was taken by the Committee on exemption notifications, submitted by Bahrain, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Among others, he also noted a response to a note verbale from Türkiye with further queries on the scope of paragraph 27 of resolution 1973 (2011) and a response to one of three letters from Libya on different aspects of the assets freeze. He also pointed to a travel notification received under a previously granted travel exemption. On the Sanctions List, the Committee received a letter from the Panel referring to a recent case of a listed individual using forged United Nations documentation in an attempt to circumvent the travel ban and asset freeze measures imposed on him as a designated individual in Libya. It also received four implementation reports from Malta, Serbia, Japan and Switzerland, he noted.
BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom) emphasized that mediation — under the auspices of UNSMIL ‑ is key for elections to succeed. It is vital to bind Libya’s powerbrokers into an agreement that will enable the holding of elections as soon as feasible, without risking progress achieved on peace and stability to date. Mediation should take place between those empowered to resolve key sticking points that have long delayed Libya’s progress towards long-term security, she observed, commending the efforts of security actors to come together in support of delivering successful elections. Moreover, security actors also have an important role in upholding the security guarantees necessary to enable Libyan’s access to safe, free and fair elections. Describing the crackdown on civil society as “deeply concerning”, she underlined that civic space must be protected to empower all Libyans to play a role in developing a democratic society. It is incumbent on Libyan authorities to rapidly develop and clarify a sustainable legal mechanism that allows for freedom of association, operation and assembly, she asserted.
RICCARDA CHRISTIANA CHANDA (Switzerland), recalling the series of inclusive human rights dialogues organized by her country, as Co-Chair of the Berlin Process Working Group on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, said Libyans stressed the importance of civil rights and better living conditions during those meetings. Echoing the call for free and fair elections, she called on all Libyan stakeholders to engage constructively and resolutely in this process, while safeguarding the participation of women. Citing the latest developments in neighbouring Sudan, she welcomed the recent progress made in Libya on the security track, with the establishment of a joint military force and liaison committees with neighbouring countries. She also called for the adoption of a law on civil society organizations in Libya while expressing concern that the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya has found reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed there, including against migrants. Urging the Libyan authorities to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court, she noted that migrant children continue to be detained arbitrarily, together with adults, with limited access to basic protection, health services and legal assistance. “This injustice must stop,” she underscored.
PEDRO COMISSÁRIO AFONSO (Mozambique), also speaking for Gabon and Ghana, encouraged the support the High-Level Panel for Elections would provide to the 6+6 Committee so that Libyans can quickly reach consensus on contentious issues, including the development of a constitutional framework and a clear road map for the holding of inclusive elections. To this end, he called on the parties to come out with well-defined terms of reference and timelines for the Committee for the acceptance of all relevant political actors. The parties must engage constructively and in a spirit of compromise so that the elections can take place in 2023, he said, urging for the inclusion of women and youth as part of this process. The peace process in Libya must be Libyan-led and -owned, facilitated by the United Nations and supported by the international community, guided by inclusive dialogue conducive to national reconciliation. To this end, the Libyan political actors must place the interests of Libyans above all other considerations and undertake prompt steps forward to lay the groundwork for fair, inclusive and peaceful elections.
On the security situation, he said that, despite the tense situation and security incidents in Libya, the 2020 ceasefire agreement continues to hold. He called on the parties to continue showing restraint by fully complying with the ceasefire agreement, to preserve the current path conducive to lasting peace and security. He strongly condemned the presence of foreign forces on Libyan soil, stressing that it undermines the country’s territorial integrity and ownership of the peace process. In this regard, he commended the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and Liaison Committees for their efforts to facilitate the full withdrawal of foreign forces, as well as foreign fighters from Libya. He further commended the 5+5 Joint Military Commission for bringing together military and security leaders from the western, eastern and southern regions to discuss on how they can contribute towards a conducive environment for advancing the political process. Voicing concern over the spillover effect on the Sahel and its consequences on the security situation in the region, he called for coordinated action to help manage the threat that the return of these foreign fighters and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons pose to the stability in the Sahel. Regarding human rights in Libya, he strongly condemned violations of human rights of refugees and migrants, including human trafficking, torture, sexual and gender-based violence and extortion.
JOHN KELLEY (United States), stressing the importance of holding elections as soon as possible, highlighted the frustration among Libyan people about the political stalemate. Condemning the interference of powerful actors in this process, he stressed that it is time to build on past achievements and current momentum, and called for a United Nations-facilitated road map for elections. Expressing concern about the uptick in illicit petroleum shipments, he described it as destabilizing and called for strict adherence to the arms embargo, as well. In this regard, he applauded the European Union’s operation IRINI. The withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries is an essential element in maintaining stability, he said, calling for the expulsion of Wagner mercenaries. The war in Ukraine has laid bare what civilians in conflict zones in Africa have known for a long time, he said, also expressing dismay at the findings in the report of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya. The impunity with which State and non-State actors have behaved shows an utter disregard for the rights and well-being of the Libyan people, he said, calling for accountability.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) said the Libyan security actors have made commitments to reunify the Libyan army and ensure secure elections, commending the meeting of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission in Tripoli. This process must be accompanied by the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of militias, as well as the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya. In this regard, France welcomes the establishment of liaison committees with Chad, Niger and Sudan for the withdrawal of African mercenaries. Stressing the importance of inclusive and transparent presidential and parliamentary elections in the country, he said that the electoral campaign must be free from corruption and guarantee equal opportunities for all candidates. He expressed full support for the Special Representative’s efforts to create an inclusive high-level panel to oversee the organization of the elections. Turning to human rights violations committed in Libya, he said foreign militias and mercenaries act with total impunity. He condemned the enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture and sexual violence committed against migrants and Libyans. Moreover, the reduction in freedom of expression and association is alarming, he underscored, calling on the Libyan authorities to put an end to these violations and combat the impunity of their perpetrators. He also reiterated his Government’s commitment to the arms embargo.
DAI BING (China), stressing that it is essential to build synergy to advance the political process, noted the Special Representative’s extensive communications with the Libyan parties, as well as the mediation efforts made by Egypt and other regional countries. Underscoring the need for a Libyan-led, Libyan-owned process that accommodates the legitimate concerns of all parties, he called on the international community to avoid the imposition of external solutions. Also underscoring the need to consolidate the peace and security mechanism, he noted that the 5+5 Joint Military Commission has held many meetings, with parties actively discussing the establishment of a unified security institution. Libya and its neighbouring countries also agreed on establishing a coordinating mechanism. Welcoming these developments, he added that all parties should fulfil their ceasefire commitments. Further, it is essential that the revenues from the oil industry benefit Libyan people, he said, stressing that the Council and the Committee should pay attention to the concern expressed by the Libyan authorities regarding the loss of frozen assets.
JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO (Brazil) expressed hope that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s proposal to establish a high-level panel for elections will contribute to bringing all Libyan stakeholders together, in a manner that fosters genuine intra-Libyan dialogue. He encouraged the delivery of concrete results by the 6+6 Committee on the remaining issues in preparation for national elections. Further, he welcomed the fact that several Libyan military and security leaders have come together in meetings in Tunis, Tripoli and Benghazi, over the past weeks and months, under the auspices of UNSMIL. Their commitment to creating an environment conducive to elections will be key for the success of the political transition through the ballot box, he asserted. The recent reinvigoration of liaison committees with neighbouring countries on the part of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission represents an important step towards the coordinated withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, he observed, emphasizing the importance of regional coordination and collaboration with the Peacebuilding Commission. Calling for strict compliance with the terms of the arms embargo, as well as the sanctions regime, he also reiterated his Government’s commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta) said that, despite the present calm in Libya, there is reason for concern about its fragility. Noting the decision taken by the House of Representatives and the High State Council to task a joint 6+6 committee to finalize the constitutional and legislative framework for the elections, she said such efforts should be mutually supportive and must establish the political and legal consensus needed to hold free, fair and independent elections. Also emphasizing the importance of ensuring the full participation of women in the political process, she expressed regret that no women form part of this process. Underscoring the crucial role that the 5+5 Joint Military Commission plays in stabilizing the country, she stressed the need for the demobilization and disarmament of armed groups. Foreign mercenaries and fighters must withdraw fully, she said, also noting that those who provide support for armed groups in Libya may be subject to sanctions. Expressing concern about reports of intimidation and sexual assaults and other human rights violations, she stressed that human rights must be protected and applied to all without distinctions. The continued shrinking of civil space is a matter of alarm, she said.
MOHAMED ISSA HAMAD ABU SHAHAB (United Arab Emirates), commending the progress achieved on the constitutional path regarding elections, expressed hope that the 6+6 Committee meetings in Tripoli will lay the legal foundation for the electoral process. He highlighted the importance of prioritizing reconciliation and dialogue between Libyan parties from all regions. He also expressed his country’s support for the efforts of the Libyan Presidential Council aimed to achieve real national reconciliation, stressing the importance of full and equal participation of women in these efforts. Establishing security remains a prerequisite to achieving political stability and creating a safe environment for holding free and transparent presidential and parliamentary elections. This requires simultaneous, phased and balanced withdrawal of all foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya. To achieve stability in Libya and the surrounding region, the international community must support the country’s efforts aimed at addressing irregular migration and its root causes, he underlined.
Mr. KIMIHIRO (Japan), speaking in his national capacity and noting the recent positive developments, said it is imperative that Libya and the United Nations work together to ensure that elections are held there in 2023. Highlighting the need to bring together all relevant Libyan actors, he said the political process must include all stakeholders, from political figures to tribal leaders and civil society organizations, as this will allow an inclusive, Libyan-led and -owned political process. Also commending the facilitation role of Egypt, he added that it is necessary to finalize electoral laws as soon as possible. On the security front, he commended the positive engagement of the security and military institutions and the Joint Military Commission’s implementation of the ceasefire agreement. Expressing regret that there have been no steps forward on the economic track in the last two months, he voiced his country’s support for the people of Libya.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania), while recognizing the new impetus and dynamic in Libya, said the overall situation remains a source of concern. Every effort towards the unification of the Libyan army is a step towards national reconciliation and unity, he said, commending the engagement of the military leaders to provide support for the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections in 2023. Unfortunately, on the political front, despite efforts, the impasse continues, and so does the legitimacy crisis of the institutions, leaving unanswered the hopes of millions of Libyans. The political leaders must respond to these aspirations, he underlined, expressing support for an inclusive and transparent political process. The involvement of women, youth and civil society is crucial for its credibility and outcome. Moreover, he called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries, noting that Libya should build its future without any outside interference. Stressing that the human rights situation in the country has seriously deteriorated, he said war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as arbitrary detention, murder, rape, enslavement, extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance committed by State security forces and armed militia groups, must be fully investigated and those responsible must be held accountable.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador), welcoming the Special Representative’s ongoing efforts to find a lasting solution to the political crisis in Libya, commended the progress made in the political arena, including the establishment of the 6+6 Committee and the high-level panel. Describing these as important steps towards a political transition, he expressed hope that such initiatives will help resolve as yet-unresolved issues and culminate in agreements for the constitutional basis for elections. The holding of elections is an important step towards peace because they will help establish legitimate political institutions and rule of law. Therefore, elections must be held in a peaceful and inclusive environment, he stressed. Commending the work of the 5+5 Military Commission in implementing the ceasefire, he added that the worsening humanitarian and human rights situation is alarming. Underscoring the need to respect the human rights of migrants and refugees, particularly those of children, he said Libya must fulfil its obligations pursuant to international law.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation), Security Council President for April, speaking in his national capacity, said normalization, security and stability in Libya are important not only for the country itself, but for the continued development of all of North Africa. The main goal at this stage is promoting fair, long-term and lasting settlement, as part of a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process, without any external interference. The cornerstone is holding general presidential and parliamentary elections, he said, welcoming the steps taken in this regard. He called on Libyan leaders to continue to seek reasonable compromise, emphasizing that the electoral process must include all Libyan political forces ‑ without discrimination ‑ to avoid military escalation. Underscoring the need to eliminate foreign military presence in Libya, he said the withdrawal from the country of all non-Libyan armed groups must be done in a synchronized and phased manner. In this regard, the role of UNSMIL is more important that ever, he noted. “The political settlement in Libya should not be a stage for international revelries,” he asserted, rejecting efforts of certain countries to exploit the instability in Libya to their own interest.
TAHER M. T. ELSONNI (Libya), aligning himself with Mozambique on behalf of the three African members of the Council, recalled his delegation’s statement before the 15-member organ in 2022 in which it tried to convey the questions of his country’s citizens. “Our people find that many of the statements made here are repetitive,” he said, adding that they have no real relationship to the realities on the ground. Stressing the Council’s moral responsibility, he said the Libyan people remain confused by the conundrum in which the Council calls on them to respect its outcomes and resolutions, but also insists on a purely Libyan-owned and Libyan-led solution. His country’s citizens are looking forward to breaking the vicious political cycle, he said, highlighting the success of the dialogues taking place currently on the constitutional path. However, they wonder what will happen if the consensus fails or if the consensus materializes, but there are spoilers or if the consensus is partial. They do not care about legal details or who is right and who is wrong, they want an end to the fighting, he underscored.
Libya, he continued, needs assistance to complete all the vulnerable stages of a political transitions. Welcoming the Council’s decision to send a team to assess the country’s technical and logistical support needs as it undertakes the electoral process, he stressed that the High Commission for Elections as well as relevant national institutions require support. Further, Libya also needs technical support for registration and ballots, he said. “We continue to be optimistic,” he said, highlighting the national spirit in the country, and pointing to recent efforts aimed at reunifying military institutions and developing a Libyan army that will secure its borders. The stability of the region is crucial, he said, noting the precarious situation in Sudan and expressing hope that the current fighting in that country will end. Noting its impact on neighbouring counties including his, he added that the south of Libya continues to suffer from external interference. Reiterating the call on all countries interested in the Libyan dossier to work constructively towards the stability and safety of Libya, he hoped the recent “rapprochement between influential regional players” will lead to a compromise that will break the current crisis.
On human rights, he added that the current situation with regard to immigration and terrorism is the consequence of the crisis in Libya. The responsibility is collective, he stressed, adding that, but for the adverse interferences of recent years, this situation would not have happened. The migrant crisis does not start with Libya, he said, noting that his nation is a country of transit. Pointing to the existence of certain international trafficking and financing networks with ties to terrorists, he said: “Your statements were silent on those networks.” While this does not mean Libya is relinquishing responsibility, he asked: “Why don’t you receive and welcome those emigrants in your countries?” Noting that 17 April was the night of Qadr, which marks the arrival of the Qur’an among humans, he highlighted the disrespectful acts of some radical groups in Europe who burned the Qur’an and called on European Governments to fight Islamophobia.