Holding Elections as Scheduled Crucial to Libya’s Future Stability, Special Representative Stresses in Briefing to Security Council

Permanent Representative Calls for Electoral Assistance, as Civil Society Briefer Spotlights Humanitarian, Social Situations

The holding of free, fair and inclusive presidential and parliamentary elections as scheduled on 24 December is crucial to the stable future of Libya, delegates told the Security Council today, also expressing concern over a deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation.

Ján Kubiš, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), emphasized that holding elections is “much more desirable than not”, as the latter prospect may sow division and conflict.

Briefing Council on his recent visit to Libya, where he met with political actors, he cited efforts by the House of Representatives and the High National Election Commission to facilitate the process.  He urged all Member States to send observation teams, in coordination with the country’s Government of National Unity.

Warning that aborting the elections “cannot be allowed” he noted that more than half a million new voters have been registered, driving the number to upwards of 2.8 million, 40 per cent of them are women and most newly registered voters under the age of 30.  “Libyan authorities and leaders must not let them down,” he stressed.

Underlining that uncertainty creates fertile ground for spoilers and sceptics, he noted that, while the political stalemate casts a shadow over the security situation, the ceasefire continues to hold, and there has been progress on implementing some elements of the ceasefire agreement.  The border management Quartet Agreement comprising Libya, Sudan, Chad and Niger is a positive example of multilateral cooperation in tackling transnational crime, violent extremism and armed groups, he added.

He went on to point out the continuing decrease in the in numbers of internally displaced persons, and to emphasize the primacy of a healthy economy.  It is crucial to ensure stability in the oil sector — effectively the only source of wealth for all Libyans — and any attempts at closing oil lines, disrupting exports or disrupting the water system are unacceptable, he stated.

Also briefing the Council was Asma Khalifa, Co-founder of Tamazight Women’s Movement and the Khalifa Ihler Institute, who spotlighted the humanitarian side of the conflict, saying millions of Libyans continue to struggle with insufficient access to the most basic services.  “The armed conflicts over the past decade have ravaged what little infrastructure existed,” with people looking towards the elections planned for December as a source of hope and solutions, she said.  Should the polls fail to happen, or if the results are disputed in a similar scenario to what Libya saw in 2014, the outcome would be an even more fractured society and renewed violence, she warned.

Emphasizing the importance of a truth and reconciliation process allowing for greater ownership and acceptance by Libya’s people, she called for accountability and justice, with a truth-seeking mission extending to all parts of the country and considering both recent and historic grievances.  Meanwhile, UNSMIL’s mandate must be more clearly defined, and its role — centred on mediation — should be properly communicated, she stressed.

With delegates echoing the importance of maintaining the electoral schedule, ensuring the election’s security, inclusiveness and transparency, Tunisia’s representative expressed confidence that “Libyan brethren” are committed to holding elections on time, he said, reiterating the importance of neighbouring countries and regional institutions in supporting the political process.

The representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines emphasized that the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries must be conducted in a supervised and orderly manner, she also expressed concern about the human rights situation, especially for the most vulnerable people — refugees and migrants, internally displaced persons, youth, women and girls.

Mexico’s representative, noted that, while the ceasefire agreement has reduced humanitarian needs, with 180,000 fewer internally displaced persons, 500,000 people remain in vulnerable situations and depend on humanitarian aid.  He underlined the need to address the migrant situation, describing as unacceptable images of sinking boats and explosions in camps while the international community remains inactive.

The Russian Federation’s delegate cautioned that, despite some progress on the cessation of hostilities and movement towards parties avoiding mutual destruction, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum road map has begun to falter.  Whereas the cessation of hostilities is a major achievement, the threats posed by illegal migration and proliferation of weapons remain, he noted.

Libya’s representative, describing the present moment as a “critical time” in his nation’s history, said the light of hope, breakthrough and reconciliation is visible.  Emphasizing that the democratic process must not be distorted, he urged the United Nations to deploy election needs assistance teams to guarantee a transparent and fair process.  He called upon all factions to forgive and release the past, asserting that Libya has not surrendered and will return strong.

The Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya, provide an update on that body’s activities.

Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, Niger, France, Norway, China, India, United States, Viet Nam, Estonia, Kenya and Ireland.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 5:16 p.m.

Briefings

JÁN KUBIŠ, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), noted that just over 100 days remain before the 24 December elections, adding that, during his recent visit to the country, he met or spoke with political actors and urged them to protect the electoral path and the post‑electoral situation.  Even in less‑than‑ideal conditions, he said, holding elections is much more desirable than not, a situation that fosters division and conflict.  The House of Representatives is finalizing the electoral law, he reported, adding that the High National Election Commission is indicating it will do everything to meet 24 December timeline, with support from the international community, to deliver elections as free, fair and inclusive as possible under demanding constraints.  The international community can help by facilitating the gradual withdrawal of foreign elements without delay, he said.

Urging all Member States to send observation teams in coordination with Libya when the time comes, he welcomed action by the Government of National Unity to facilitate the holding of elections, especially funding the Election Commission and preparations by the Ministry of the Interior.  Detailed preparations, including an elaborate security plan, were laid out during a recent press conference, he said.  Elections are now not just a moral or political commitment, he emphasized, but a necessity, so that progress made since October 2020 continues and Libya moves beyond perpetual crisis and builds sustainable security and development.

He warned that aborting the drive for elections will be a signal for many that violence is the only path to power, stressing:  “This cannot be allowed.”  A mixture of principled firmness and practical engagement is required.  Noting more than half a million new voters have been registered, bringing the number to more than 2.8 million, 40 per cent of them women and most newly registered under 30, he underlined that the “Libyan authorities and leaders must not let them down”.  Uncertainty creates fertile ground for spoilers and sceptics, he cautioned, noting that the political stalemate is already casting a shadow over the security scene, and that work remains to be done on strategic de-conflicting.

The ceasefire continues to hold, he said, adding there has been progress on implementing some elements of the ceasefire agreement.  Persistent efforts by the Joint Military 5+5 Commission led to the reopening of the Misrata-Sirte coastal road, with the support of UNSMIL and the United Nations Mission in Angola, he added.  Noting the importance neighbouring countries controlling their borders, he said agreements are under negotiations between Egypt and Niger with Libya to manage migration flows.  The border management Quartet Agreement comprising Libya, Sudan, Chad and Niger is a positive example of multilateral cooperation in tackling transnational crime, violent extremism and armed groups, he added.

Concerning reconciliation, he noted the recent release of Al-Saadi Qhadafi, alongside several officials of the former regime, after seven or more years in prison, acquitted of charges against them by a Libyan court in 2019.  Equally important was the unilateral release of 17 prisoners from Misrata by the Libyan Arab Armed Forces.  However, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law continue, with armed groups across the country, as well as some armed units nominally operating under the State, involved, he said.  The positive trend of decreasing numbers of internally displaced persons continues, with 212,000 persons compared to 278,000 at the start of 2021, but finding a durable solution is a priority.

Turning to the healthy performance of the economy, he welcomed efforts to ensure stability in the oil sector, which is effectively the only source of wealth for all Libyans.  Any attempts at closing oil lines, disrupting exports, or disrupting the water system are unacceptable, he declared.  Since not holding the elections could gravely exacerbate the situation in the country, leading to division and conflict, Libyan actors should join forces and ensure they are inclusive, free and fair, to be seen as the essential step in further stabilizing and uniting the country, he concluded.

T.S. TIRUMURTI (India), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya, presented that body’s activities, reporting that, between 22 May and 10 September, the Committee met once in an informal setting and conducted additional tasks through silence procedures.  It heard a briefing by the Panel of Experts on 25 June, which was followed by an interactive discussion.  He said the Committee wrote to Germany and the Netherlands regarding the freeze on the assets of the Libyan Investment Authority, which is listed on the Sanctions List.  It also wrote to Jordan and Libya on a separate matter regarding the same entity and received responses from them.  The Committee sought an update from the Government of National Unity about some aspects of the implementation of the arms embargo, he said, adding that it also received seven vessel-inspection reports.  It also approved a six-month extension of a travel-ban exemption for three individuals due to humanitarian considerations, he noted.  Regarding general implementation of sanctions measures, he said, the Committee dispatched a note verbale to all Member States to inquire about the steps undertaken to implement travel bans, asset freezes and other measures.  It received responses from Japan and the Philippines, he reported.

ASMA KHALIFA, Co-founder of Tamazight Women’s Movement and the Khalifa Ihler Institute, described herself as a Libyan woman, an Amazigh as well as a human rights activist and researcher.  She said millions of Libyans continue to struggle with insufficient access to the most basic services, pinpointing the lack of sufficient testing and monitoring of COVID-19, electricity cuts that often exceed 18 hours a day and temperatures hovering in the vicinity of 40°C.  “The armed conflicts over the past decade have ravaged what little infrastructure existed,” she noted, adding that it is against such a backdrop that people are looking towards the elections planned for December as a source of hope and solutions.

However, as of today there is no agreement about the legal and constitutional basis for those elections cautioned, she said.  Should they fail to happen — or if the results are disputed in a similar scenario to what Libya saw in 2014 — the result would be an even more fractured society and renewed violence, she cautioned.  Calling for a solid legal foundation for the elections rooted in a real, inclusive constitutional process, she said its absence leaves Libya open to more corruption and abuses of power that are likely to further erode human rights, peace and democracy.  The current, temporary system is neither conflict-sensitive nor inclusive, and is already proving to be very divisive, she stated.

“A truth and reconciliation process is much needed,” she said, emphasizing “it has to be depoliticized [in order] to allow for greater ownership and acceptance by the people of Libya”.  She also called for accountability and justice, with a truth-seeking mission extending to all parts of the country and considering both recent and historic grievances.  Meanwhile, she said, UNSMIL’s mandate must be more clearly defined, and its role — centred on mediation — should be properly communicated.  Citing the common perception among Libyans that the Mission is complicit in allowing corrupt political elites and spoilers to set the agenda for peace, she declared:  “This has to be checked to stop further disruptions of the process and to repair the damage that has been done.”

Emphasizing that all actors involved in, and outside, the conflict have repeatedly failed women, she also noted that the space for civil society has been shrinking and women human rights defenders conduct their work at grave personal risk.  Against that backdrop, she said the Council should support Libyan women by bringing in local and international legal experts to define the electoral process, as well as its constitutional basis; establishing an independent body to monitor, evaluate and ensure transparency, and to hold the Government accountable for corruption and abuse of power; ensuring the withdrawal of foreign fighters, international militias and mercenaries; making the ceasefire monitoring mission completely independent of UNSMIL; and prioritizing the protection of civil society activists and human rights defenders.

Statements

BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom) said time is running out to agree a legal and constitutional basis for elections in Libya.  “There is a clear demand from the Libyan people to participate in elections and have their voices heard,” she said.  Welcoming efforts by the House of Representatives to find a solution that allows for the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December as set out in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum Road Map, she stressed that the United Kingdom “will not hesitate to act against those who deliberately attempt to undermine the Libyan political process”.  She went on to underline her country’s staunch support for full, equal and meaningful participation by women.  Urging all foreign forces and mercenaries to withdraw from Libya without delay, she called for implementation of the recommendations emanating from the strategic review of UNSMIL.

NIANDOU AOUGI (Niger) applauded UNSMIL’s untiring efforts and expressed his delegation’s support for the recommendations emanating from its independent strategic review.  However, he deplored the actions of certain parties, especially those engaged in the deployment of mercenaries or other forms of foreign interference, as well as violations of the oil embargo and other Council resolutions.  Welcoming recent strides made possible by the Joint 5+5 Committee, he nevertheless cited recent clashes in Tripoli as a reminder that much — especially the reunification of military institutions — remains to be achieved.  He also welcomed the announcement of a joint border protection initiative by the leaders of Libya, Chad, Sudan and Niger.  He went on to note that the provision of basic social services remains below the levels needed across Libya, also drawing attention to the deplorable living conditions of migrants and refugees.  Underscoring the need to end the illegal repatriation and off-loading of migrants picked up at sea, he said those people require protection and must not be brought back to Libya, where they will be subjected to abuses by rogue agents.

TAREK LADEB (Tunisia) said the road map for elections is a critical station on Libya’s path towards lasting democracy, the rule of law and stable institutions.  He expressed confidence that “Libyan brethren” are committed to holding elections on time, reiterating the importance of the role of neighbouring countries and regional institutions in supporting the political process.  He cited positive moves, including the opening of the coastal road, and the formation of a joint force to secure water supplies.  Noting that the ceasefire is a “guarantee” for a successful political process, he called on all parties to fully implement all its provisions, including accelerating the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries — a necessary condition for stability.  That withdrawal must be coordinated to prevent spill-over affecting neighbours, as it may be exploited by other forces, he cautioned, emphasizing that all parties must implement the arms embargo and respect Libya’s territorial integrity.  He went on to welcome efforts to unify institutions and Government efforts to solidify the economy and provide services to people.  The Tunisian Government will actively participate in all efforts to guarantee stability and ensure Libya reclaims its status as an active country in the region.

NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France), stressing that peace is within reach, called on the Council to remain mobilized so the window of opportunity does not close.  Libyan actors must respect the electoral deadlines they have set and hold parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December, he emphasized, warning that any questioning of the deadline could threaten the political transition process and the relative lull that Libya has experienced in recent months.  Voicing his support for a United Nations-backed Libyan decision aimed at clarifying the legal basis for elections, he also welcomed the adoption of an electoral law for the presidential election and called for a similar parliamentary election law.  He also spotlighted the urgent need for progress in implementing the ceasefire agreement of 23 October 2020, agreeing with other speakers that the recent clashes in Tripoli “have reminded us how fragile the situation on the ground remains”.  Meanwhile, France will continue to contribute, together with its European partners, to the neutral and impartial implementation of the Council’s arms embargo through Operation IRINI, he said.

MONA JUUL (Norway) said today’s civil society briefer was a powerful reminder of why women must participate fully, equally and meaningfully in the design and implementation of ongoing political processes — including monitoring the ceasefire agreement.  Expressing full support for the recommendations of UNSMIL’s strategic review, and for their implementation throughout the Mission’s mandate renewal, she agreed with other speakers that Libya’s presidential and parliamentary elections should be held as planned on 24 December.  “This is not only the expectation of the international community, but also of the Libyan people themselves,” she said, describing the elections as crucial to avoid further destabilization.  It is critical to preserve recent gains and to implement the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum Road Pap, she stressed.  “And let me reiterate the importance of all foreign forces and mercenaries leaving the country, as Libyans themselves have called for in the ceasefire agreement.”

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said his delegation is cautiously monitoring the situation which, despite some progress on the cessation of hostilities and movement towards parties avoiding mutual destruction, has seen the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum road map begin to falter.  With discussion ongoing, the Russian Federation hopes that Libyans can find common ground, he said.  Expressing regret that some are speaking about postponing or dividing elections, he cautioned that such actions may nullify progress.  The process must include all parties and regions, he insisted.  While the cessation of hostilities is a major achievement, more active efforts are required, he said, noting that the progress of the joint military commission 5+5 is “largely on paper”, while the full opening of the coastal route is still awaiting final agreement.  The precarious situation is directly related to the presence of foreign forces and requires a stable withdrawal that maintains the balance of power on the ground, without destabilizing neighbouring States, he emphasized.  Noting the threats posed by illegal migration and proliferation of weapons, affecting all security, he said inspections must be carried out off the coast in strict observance of international law.  He went on to urge caution in extending UNSMIL’s the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) mandate, he urged caution, saying “the United Nations should not spread itself too thin”.

HALIMAH DESHONG (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) expressed support for UNSMIL’s vital role in facilitating the Libyan-led and -owned political process, and the important work of the African Union, League of Arab States, European Union and other international partners in advancing the political process with respect for Libya’s sovereignty.  However, lingering impediments remain, she noted.  She emphasized that elections are a key component of representative democracies and essential for Libya’s democratic transition.  Noting advances on the security front, such as the creation of a new joint force and opening of the Misrata-Sirte coastal road, she said the ceasefire agreement also continues to hold — but with limited tangible progress in its implementation.  Furthermore, the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries must be conducted in a supervised and orderly manner to avoid grave ramifications for the Sahel and the wider region, she emphasized.  She expressed concern about the human rights situation, especially for those most vulnerable — refugees and migrants, internally displaced persons, youth, women and girls.  Turning to the economy, she underlined the need to unify institutions, restore integrity to the Central Bank — which remains crucial to addressing socioeconomic difficulties — and resolve the budget impasse to enable the Government to execute its duties.  Existing realities demand the consolidated efforts of all Libyans, she said.

DAI BING (China) said Libya is at a critical political stage as national reconciliation progresses, and urged all parties to demonstrate the political will to follow the road map created by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.  Welcoming the mediation role of Algeria, he encouraged the African Union and the League of Arab States to actively participate in ceasefire monitoring alongside the 5+5 Committee.  Libya should cooperate with its neighbours on border control, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and management of arms transfers.  While expressing China’s support for UNSMIL’s mandate renewal, he emphasized that, in light of the humanitarian situation, sanctions should be reduced, also arguing that frozen assets can be used to improve people’s lives.  He went on to say that Libya needs the international community to support its pandemic response, economic development and lasting peace, and pledged that China stands ready to lend support.

Mr. TIRUMURTI (India), speaking in his national capacity, said elections need to be held as planned on 24 December in a free and fair manner, emphasizing the need for agreement on their constitutional and legal basis.  Expressing regret that consensus still eludes the parties, he called upon all concerned to work together for a mutually acceptable solution.  The peace process must be fully Libyan-led and -owned, without external interference, he stressed.  Pointing out that the arms embargo continues to be blatantly

violated, he underlined the need for a serious discussion about what further measures could be taken to ensure that the Council’s decisions on withdrawal of foreign forces are implemented and sustainable peace and stability prevail.  Terrorist groups and affiliated entities must not be allowed to operate unchallenged in Libya, he said, adding that the continued presence and activities of ISIL is of serious concern due to the potential cascading effect throughout the Sahel region.

JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) condemned the recent outbreak of violence, saying it undermines the ceasefire agreements.  While noting that political progress is critical to regional security, he said that, for that to happen, national elections must be held in December.  He emphasized the need for a legal framework and broad consensus on that matter.  Pointing out that mercenaries and foreign forces remain in Libya despite the Council decisions on their withdrawal, he stressed that the Council must live by its words, urging some members to abide by ceasefire agreements and pull their forces out.  He went on to reaffirm that human rights violations by any party are unacceptable, adding that the authorities must stop arbitrary arrests.  Detainees must be given a chance for fair trial, he said, adding that migrants and refugees are protected under international humanitarian law.  Welcoming the strategic review of UNSMIL, he said the situation on the ground has changed since the last mandate renewal.  The United States supports a mandate to empower the Mission, as well as the proposed relocation of the Head of Mission to Tripoli to increase United Nations engagement, he added.

BRUNO RÍOS SÁNCHEZ (Mexico) said it is crucial that the parties make progress on the road map of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, and more pressing than ever to swiftly adopt a legal basis for the elections on 24 December.  While the international community must support reconciliation, it remains solely up to Libyans to decide their own future, he emphasized, adding that UNSMIL should be building bridges between different political groups in the context the parliamentary and presidential elections for a process that is inclusive and free.  He called on the Joint Military 5+5 Commission to agree on a security framework throughout the Libyan territory, and timely deployment of a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire.  Given the obvious risk to the electoral process due to the presence of weapons and foreign combatants and mercenaries, Mexico urges their early and coordinated exit, he said.  While recognizing that the ceasefire agreement has reduced humanitarian needs, with 180,000 fewer internally displaced persons, he noted that 500,000 people remain in vulnerable situations and depend on humanitarian aid.  He called upon the Libyan authorities to facilitate humanitarian actors.  Stressing the need for a response to the migrant situation, he said it is unacceptable to continue to see images of boats sinking and explosions in camps while the international community remains inactive.  He affirmed the importance of renewing UNSMIL’s mandate.

PHAN HAI ANH (Viet Nam) echoed concerns raised by other speakers about the limited progress registered in recent months and underlined the importance of resolving outstanding differences between the parties in order to hold national elections on 24 December as planned.  He emphasized the need for confidence‑building measures, upholding the 23 October ceasefire agreement and implementing the Council’s arms embargo.  He reiterated Viet Nam’s support for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries in a timely, orderly and comprehensive manner that will not spill conflict over into neighbouring countries.  International partners should continue to provide support to Libya in order to address the needs of its population, especially the most vulnerable, he said.  Welcoming the re-opening of critical coastal roads, he also praised efforts by the United Nations and its partners to ensure their effective demining, while voicing support for the renewal of UNSMIL’s mandate.

ANDRE LIPAND (Estonia) said that, following great strides in the past year, it is now critical not to let Libya’s progress stall.  The tasks ahead for the coming months are clear, he added:  all preparations must be made to hold free, fair, inclusive and credible elections on 24 December, as set out in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum road map and Council resolution 2570 (2021).  Welcoming the announcement that the House of Representatives has adopted draft legislation elections, he reiterated the crucial importance of ensuring women’s full, equal and meaningful participation of women and the inclusion of youth at all stages and levels.  Looking forward to the swift deployment of the Libyan-led and -owned ceasefire monitoring mechanism, he went on to express concern about continued reports of human rights violations and the alarming humanitarian situation on the ground, and to reiterate Estonia’s full support for UNSMIL’s work.

MICHAEL KIBOINO (Kenya) applauded Libya’s positive steps towards peace and stability, including the landmark reopening of the Misrata-Sirte coastal road.  Expressing hope for a legal framework and adequate budget for the elections on 24 December, he welcomed the official launch of the comprehensive national reconciliation project, a necessary component of a peaceful and credible vote.  Highlighting the destabilizing effect of the continued presence of foreign forces and mercenaries to Libya and the Sahel, he expressed hope that the impending UNSMIL mandate renewal will help prevent possible cyclic conflict in the region.  He went on to say that a regional perspective is necessary to tackle the continuing illegal migration challenge, and expressed concern about increased reports of activity by terrorist groups, including ISIL and Al-Qaida.  Emphasizing that Libya’s frozen assets must be preserved for the future benefit of its people, in accordance with resolution 1970 (2011), he said implementation of the assets freeze should always be done in cooperation with the national authorities.

JIM KELLY (Ireland), Council President for September, spoke in his national capacity, stating that the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December is vital to a successful, Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political transition.  Recalling that the House of Representatives recently passed a law on the presidential election, he called upon the relevant authorities to urgently resolve outstanding disagreements to ensure the polls take place on schedule.  He said Asma’s words today underlined the indispensable role played by women, youth and the broader civil society in building inclusive and peaceful communities, pointing that 17 members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum are women.  Ireland warmly welcomes their important contribution, as well as UNSMIL’s efforts to empower women further, including by assisting the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in developing a national action plan for women, peace and security, he said.

TAHER M. EL-SONNI (Libya) said this is a critical time in the nation’s history, with the light of hope, breakthrough and reconciliation visible.  Since the ceasefire last October, executive powers have remained largely united, he stated, noting that service projects have been engaged to address citizen needs in the energy sector and economic reforms, with 3 million vaccinations provided for COVID-19 prevention.  Furthermore, a law on decentralization was enacted, and there is commitment to a road map for reform, with a ministerial committee to offer technical and logistical electoral support.  Voters are being registered, he noted, and there is a comprehensive plan to secure polling venues by training 30,000 police officers.  Emphasizing that the democratic process must not be distorted, he said the United Nations must deploy election needs assistance teams to guarantee a transparent and fair process.

National initiatives are the basis of stability, he said, emphasizing the importance of Libyan ownership and leadership, both in the security and economic processes, with a united military under civilian leadership, and a State monopoly over the use of and weapons and force.  The Libyan people are “extending our hands to everyone to support stability” and build trust with the international community, as it is “time for it to prove good faith”, he said.  There can be no military solution to the conflict, and Libya will no longer accept any negative external interference in its affairs, he stressed, demanding that all foreign fighters exit under direct State oversight and guarantee that the conflict does not spill over into other regions.

He went on to say that the Government is working to prevent further violations of human rights after more than over 10 years of conflict, adding that the international community must cooperate with Libya on the international phenomenon of migration, as “Libya is a transit, not an origin, country”.  Underlining the importance of national reconciliation, the absence of which led to the failure of previous initiatives, he noted the opening of the coastal road and release of many detainees acquitted by courts.  Calling upon all factions, despite their wounds, to forgive and stop being controlled by the past, he asserted that Libya has not surrendered and will return strong.

 

Source: United Nations