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Political Deadlock in Libya Persists Despite International Efforts, Threatening Stability

By: ATN News

Thirteen years since the 2011 revolution, Libya remains mired in political uncertainty as key institutional stakeholders show reluctance to resolve outstanding issues hindering the path to long-awaited elections, a top United Nations official cautioned the Security Council today.

Abdoulaye Bathily, Special Representative for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), addressed the Security Council, emphasizing the urgent need for a political settlement among key stakeholders to overcome hurdles preventing the 2021 elections. Bathily stressed the critical role of the Security Council and the international community, particularly Libyan regional partners, in encouraging constructive engagement among parties.

While reporting no violations of the ceasefire agreement during the recent period, Bathily noted continued challenges in withdrawing military units and armed groups from conflict zones. He highlighted the concerning security situation in southern Libya amidst crises in neighboring Sudan and the Sahel, and ongoing territorial rivalries threatening stability in Tripoli.

Bathily also expressed alarm over interference in Libya's High National Elections Commission operations and the introduction of a national reconciliation law bypassing established mechanisms. He underscored the importance of preserving fundamental rights in any reconciliation efforts.

Yamazaki Kazuyuki, Chair of the Security Council Committee on Libya, provided an update covering recent developments, including asset freezes and travel bans. Discussions among Council members highlighted the need for UNSMIL's pivotal role in addressing political deadlock and human rights violations, particularly against migrants and refugees.

Delegates stressed the imperative of national reconciliation as a pathway to peace and prosperity, emphasizing the African Union's role in Libyan-led efforts. Concerns were raised regarding the presence of armed groups operating with impunity, the full implementation of the arms embargo, and the departure of foreign fighters from Libya.

While some cautioned against external imposition of agendas and called for inclusive governance and elections, others emphasized the importance of Libyan ownership in finding a lasting solution. The representative of Libya urged international support for national initiatives, criticizing prolonged analysis without tangible results.

As Libya grapples with ongoing instability, UNSMIL and the international community face mounting pressure to facilitate meaningful progress towards elections and lasting peace, while respecting Libya's sovereignty and the aspirations of its people.


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