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Libya: Positive Steps Needed To Break ‘Political Stalemate’


The interdependent tracks of implementing
Libya’s ceasefire agreement, political progress and
economic reform, are in danger of going into reverse, UN
Special Envoy Ján Kubiš warned the Security Council on
Thursday.

“Positivestepsarenow
needed to avoidbacksliding”, he told
the ministerial-level meeting.

To avoid a return
toconflict, violenceandchaos, Mr. Kubiš, who also
heads the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL),
underscored the “overwhelming demand and expectations”
of both Libya’s citizens and the international community
for timely elections that are necessary to complete the
country’s democratic transition.

‘Walk the
talk’

Despite wide-ranging meetings resulting in
commitments to holdelections on 24 December,the UN
official said that many of his interlocuters “are not
ready to walk the talk”.

Noting that the
constitutional basis for elections “should have been
clarifiedby now”, he said that even after extensive
sessions in Geneva last month, members of the
decision-making Libyan Political Dialogue Forum(LPDF)
remained “fragmented”.

“Because of this failure
of both constitutional reform bodies and the LPDF, the
situation in Libya is getting more difficult,
confrontational, and tense”, said the UNSMIL
chief.

“Institutional, political and individual
interests” stand in the way of finalizing the necessary
legal framework for holding December elections, he said,
calling those obstructing progress,
“spoilers”.

Political ramifications

The UN
official expressed deep concern over the wider
consequencesofthe political and electoral
stalemate.

He warned that if the impasse is not
resolved quickly, it could reversethe positive momentum
seen just a few months.

“Theramifications of the
political impasse andtheriskit poses toother key
national priorities”, particularly on the security and
economic side, “arealreadybeginning to manifest
themselves”, Mr. Kubiš cautioned.

Ceasefire
implementation

Although the October
ceasefireagreement continues tohold, the UN envoy
raised concern over the unityof the military
representatives from the opposing sides, called the 5+5
Libyan Joint Military Commission (JMC), fearing that the
agreementcould unravel ifthepolitical
processremainsstalled.

Stressing JMC’s
“vitalrole” in implementing the agreement and
pavingthe way for political progress, he emphasized that
“every effort” must be made to “preserve its unity”
and insulate its work from the“political
stalemate”.

The Governmentand 5+5 JMC
haveindicated that the main task of the
UNcomponentshouldbe the monitoring the withdrawal
of mercenariesandforeign fighters, rather than
verifyingcompliance with the ceasefire
agreement.

Mr. Kubiš said “it is imperative
that Libyan and international actors agree on a planto
commenceand completewithdrawal”.

He also
warned of renewed terrorist activities by violent
extremists, particularly the in south, and urged those with
a stake in Libya’ssecurity, tojointly address the
threat.

IDPs, migrants and refugees

While the
overall humanitarian situation has improved since the
ceasefire, serious challenges remainin ensuring that
returned internally displaced people (IDPs) have adequate
and sustained access to basic services, such as healthcare
and education facilities.

The UN official noted that
planned and often forced evictions targeting IDP communities
by Libyan authorities is a growing concern, as are migrants
and refugee attacks, reminding that “forced evictions
without due process are human rights violations”.

At
the same time, the migrant and refugee situation
remains“dire”as the number of peopleattempting
to cross the Mediterranean continues to
increase.

“By 26 June, the Libyan Coast Guard
intercepted and returned to Libya 14,751 migrants and
refugees, exceeding the total number of all returnees in
2020”, he said, urging the Government
to“swiftlyapprove” the resumption of humanitarian
evacuation and voluntary resettlement and returnof
migrant and refugees from Libya.

Concluding on a
positive note, Mr. Kubiš reported that the Committee of
Libyan Experts on Combating Violence Against Women adopted
in June the first comprehensive draft legislation in
theMiddle Eastregion on combating violence against
women.

© Scoop Media

 



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