The United Nations representative urges leaders in Libya to find a solution to the current deadlock and not let down the people.
Abdoulaye Bathily, UN Special Representative for Libya, told ambassadors on the Security Council that the mood in the country “is ripe for a new political deal, a new dispensation for a brighter future”.
He emphasized the importance of not allowing a certain group of resistant officials to cause harm to the people of Libya and potentially create more chaos in the region.
Since the delay of the originally scheduled December 2021 national elections, Libya has been stuck in a state of turmoil.
The standoff between competing factions, the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Tripoli (western region) and the Government of National Stability (GNS) in the east, which is supported by the House of Representatives (HoR) and the Libyan National Army (LNA).
The ongoing deadlock has been fueling political, security, and economic turmoil in the country. This has also played a role in exacerbating the devastation and tragic loss of life from Storm Daniel in Derna and its neighboring regions in September.
“I implore leaders from both the eastern and western regions to remember the unity and support demonstrated by the Libyan people during the Derna crisis. It is important that we establish a cohesive national plan for reconstruction, prioritizing the well-being of those whose lives and livelihoods have been greatly impacted by this catastrophe,” stated Mr. Bathily.
New constitutional framework
Mr. Bathily, who also heads the UN Support Mission in the country (UNSMIL), told Council members that for the first time since elections were aborted in December 2021, Libya has a constitutional and legal framework for elections in place.
The High National Electoral Commission has deemed the framework to be technically feasible.
“We must continue to progress from this significant milestone,” he stated, acknowledging that he had extended an invitation to the heads of the five organizations – the Presidential Council, the House of Representatives (HoR), High Council of State, Government of National Unity (GNU), and Libyan National Army (LNA) – for a gathering.
Requirements set by certain individuals
Mr. Bathily stated that he was glad to announce that none of the organizations he invited declined his invitation. He went on to clarify that some did have certain requirements for their involvement.
The personal computer indicated strong and definite backing, while the HCS provided the names of its representatives during a preliminary gathering. However, the Speaker of the HoR refused to allow GNU to participate and instead advocated for the creation of a “new government for elections”.
The GNU’s Prime Minister also proposed attendees for the meeting, but firmly refused to discuss the formation of a “new government”.
The head of the LNA, General Haftar, is open to discussions, but has specified that the government appointed by the HoR must be involved, according to Mr. Bathily. Alternatively, he would agree to participate if both “governments” were not included.
Rights and protection for individuals.
Mr. Bathily also reported to Council members that there are sporadic armed conflicts and security issues ongoing in all regions, but the ceasefire is still in effect.
He expressed worry about the continued limitation of public space and unjustified imprisonments.
In the past nine months, approximately 60 people, including minors, were unlawfully arrested by security agents based on their actual or perceived political beliefs. The true number may be even greater.
According to Mr. Bathily, this not only violates their basic rights but also undermines the legal system in Libya and decreases confidence in the justice system and political procedures.
He restated the importance of a vibrant community where Libyans communicate through conversations, disagreements, and mutual respect in order for the political procedure to be successful.