The Arab League is also pushing for a solution to the threat posed by armed groups and militias as Libya fights for peace.
The UN chief urged the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya on Saturday, as requested in the October 23 ceasefire agreement signed by the warring parties after years of fighting that has divided into two the oil-rich North African nation.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also urged the UN-recognized government which dominates in the capital, Tripoli, in western Libya and the forces of renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar who rules most of the east and the south, “to maintain their determination to achieve a lasting political solution to the conflict, the resolution of the economic problems and the alleviation of the humanitarian situation”.
In a report to the UN Security Council obtained on Tuesday, Guterres praised the roadmap adopted by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum – 75 representatives from across the country’s political and social spectrum – leading to the presidential and parliamentary elections on the 24th. December 2021.
After a NATO-led uprising in 2011 that overthrew and later killed extremist leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya was divided between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by an array of militias and of foreign powers.
Turkey is the main patron of the government in Tripoli, while the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt support Haftar.
Mr. Guterres encouraged countries that support both sides and the international community as a whole to support the implementation of the ceasefire “without delay”, including “ensuring the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya and full and unconditional respect for the Security Council’s arms embargo ”against Libya. .
He also urged the Security Council to give the UN political mission, known as UNSIL, “a clear but flexible mandate” to support a Libyan-led mechanism to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire. fire. Diplomats have said that a Council resolution outlining the role of the UN will likely be released in late January or early February.
In early January, Guterres recommended that international observers be deployed to Libya under the auspices of the UN to observe the October ceasefire agreement from a base in the strategic city of Sirte, gateway of the country’s main oil fields and export terminals.
He said a preliminary team should be sent to Tripoli as a first step to “lay the foundations for an evolving Sirte-based UN ceasefire monitoring mechanism.”
“Mitigate the risk”
The Secretary-General expressed concern at the continuing threat of “terrorism and violent extremism” in the Libyan region, saying that the reunification of the country’s security institutions would “help mitigate the risk” of ISIS reconstitution ( IS) and other armed groups.
“Although operationally weakened following a series of counterterrorism operations, the Islamic State … and an al-Qaeda support network in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) remain a threat in Libya,” he said. he declares.
Guterres said the role of UN member countries and regional organizations, including the African Union, the European Union and the Arab League “is critical”.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit told the Security Council on Monday that recent events “could bring us closer to the end of the division in this important Arab country”.
He insisted that foreign fighters and mercenaries be expelled by Saturday’s deadline, and called for a solution to the threat posed by armed groups and militias.
Aboul-Gheit warned unless this happens “the country will not enjoy any stability and no agreement on the transition phase and preparation for the next elections will survive.”
He pledged the Arab League’s support to the UN in monitoring the ceasefire and in preparing for and observing the December elections.