16 Jul 2015, 10:34 am Print
“A Government of National Accord can be the only interlocutor through which the growing threat of Da’esh [also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL] and its affiliate groups can be effectively tackled," UN Special Representative for Libya Bernardino León said as he briefed the Council on the situation in the country.
Reiterating UN support in ensuring national ownership in the transition process, he also said, “I am confident that the international community is ready to offer the needed support based on the priorities that the Libyans will identify.”
Over the past month, he explained, the situation in Libya has continued to deteriorate amid significant political fragmentation and violence.
Nonetheless, León, who also heads the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said he was pleased to report to the Council that, on 11 July, a number of courageous Libyan leaders had initialed a political agreement at UN-facilitated talks that had been under way in Skhirat, Morocco.
He said, “This act signaled the adoption of a framework for further talks and has brought the country one step closer to ending the conflict and fulfilling the goals of the 2011 revolution.”
This agreement, he explained, will allow Libya to complete the transition that started in 2011.
Reporting on the security situation on the ground, the Special Representative said that in western Libya, local ceasefires and reconciliation agreements have improved the security situation and allowed for an improvement in the humanitarian situation.
In central Libya, Da’esh-affiliated militants had established full control over the city of Sirte and the surrounding coastal area. Misrata forces had withdrawn to the area of Abu Grain, some 75 kilometers east of Sirte, but continue to carry out airstrikes and block Da’esh advances westward.
And in Benghazi, clashes between the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council and Operation Dignity continue with neither side making significant gains, while the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council’s early July offensive has not changed the situation on the ground.
He said, “The situation in Benghazi, birthplace of the revolution, remains of serious concern. We must refocus our efforts on this city in particular, to try and put an end to the fighting, which has caused so much destruction.”
Encouraged by the recent release of prisoners in various Libyan cities over the past weeks, León called for the release of “all those illegally detained” without further delay.
In Tripoli, he continued, the last session of the trial of Saif al-Islam Qadhafi, Abdullah al-Senussi, and 35 other former regime officials for violations committed during the 2011 conflict, took place on , and the verdict is expected on .
“Libya must overcome this dark chapter in its history by holding those responsible for serious crimes accountable, in accordance with international standards for due process and fair trial.
Libya is at a critical stage, he concluded, and it is my duty “to urge all parties…to continue to engage constructively in the dialogue process.”
“Once again we must join together and send an unequivocal message that only through dialogue and political compromise, can a peaceful resolution of the conflict be achieved.”
Photo: UN Photo/Loey Felipe
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