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Libya's Path to Stability: Political and Security Challenges Persist

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in Libya. On the screen is Stephanie Koury, Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs for Libya in the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).|UN Photo/Manuel Elías
A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in Libya. On the screen is Stephanie Koury, Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs for Libya in the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).|UN Photo/Manuel Elías

By: ATN News

United Nations: In a recent briefing to the United Nations Security Council, Stephanie Koury, Deputy Special Representative and Political Officer for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), highlighted the urgent need for a political agreement in Libya to pave the way for national elections. The consultations conducted by UNSMIL in various regions of the country revealed a strong desire among Libyan citizens for a legitimate government and institutional stability.

Political and Electoral Developments

Koury emphasized the critical importance of including enforcement mechanisms in any future political agreements to ensure compliance. Key issues such as economic disparities, security structure reform, and governance improvements were identified as underlying drivers of conflict that must be addressed. Decentralization, inclusiveness, fairness, and transparency were widely supported by Libyans.

A significant development is the High National Elections Commission's (HNEC) opening of voter registration for municipal elections in 60 municipalities, with over 30,000 people registered so far. However, Koury noted that female voter registration remains low, and 10 of 12 registration centers in eastern municipalities have been prevented from opening, urging authorities to facilitate their operation.

Security Concerns and Ceasefire Status

Libya's security situation remains fragile, as evidenced by recent clashes in Tripoli’s Ain Zara district, Al-Jmail, and Al-Zawiya, along with a car bombing in Tripoli. These incidents highlight the critical need for unified and reformed security sector institutions and effective local mediation efforts. Despite no ceasefire violations during the reporting period, the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries has stalled, complicating the security landscape.

Economic and Humanitarian Challenges

Koury underscored the difficult economic conditions faced by many Libyans, including high prices and unequal resource distribution. She called for the unification of the national budget and transparent implementation to address these challenges. Reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as human rights violations against migrants and refugees, continue to be of deep concern. A new legal and policy framework is urgently needed to address these issues.

On the humanitarian front, the 2024 Sudan Refugee Response Plan, launched by UN agencies and humanitarian partners, aims to support 195,000 Sudanese refugees and host communities in Libya with a budget of $43.8 million.

International Responses and Future Prospects

Various international representatives echoed the need for a cohesive approach to Libya's political and security challenges. The United Kingdom and France emphasized the importance of supporting HNEC and ensuring the successful conduct of municipal elections. Japan and Ecuador stressed the necessity of a comprehensive national reconciliation process and fair distribution of national revenues.

The United States highlighted the importance of a unified international stance on Libya's security, economic, and humanitarian issues, while expressing concern over arms embargo violations and the influx of military hardware. Malta and Slovenia urged for continued support for UNSMIL and called for the release of individuals arbitrarily detained.

The Russian Federation and China called for a Libyan-led political process, criticizing external influences and stressing the importance of respecting Libya’s sovereignty.

Libya's Path Forward

The representative of Libya, expressing frustration over the repetitive nature of Security Council statements and the lack of tangible progress, urged the Council to leave the solution to Libyans. He highlighted the need for national reconciliation, the unification of security forces, and the end of foreign presence to achieve lasting peace and stability.

As Libya navigates its complex political landscape, the international community's support and a unified national effort will be crucial in addressing the myriad challenges and ensuring a stable and prosperous future for the country.


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