Kobler: 'Move Ahead Now, or Risk Division and Collapse"

Libya needs to move ahead now or risk division and collapse, the top United Nations official in the country warned the UN Security Council today, while presenting the latest report on political and humanitarian developments.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I begin my briefing to you noting that humanitarian situation in Libya has deteriorated further, against the background of poor funding for the humanitarian response,” Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), told the 15-member Council.

Libya is a country of six million people, with significant resources. But, across the country, the UN estimates that 2.4 million individuals are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. In addition, more than 40 per cent of the health facilities in Libya are not functioning, and over one million children under the age of five are at risk of being affected by a vaccine shortage.

“It is now imperative that Libyan political actors take responsibility in the higher interest of the Libyan people to stop human suffering,” urged Mr. Kobler, adding that the process towards a democratic transition has continued to meet a number of milestones but at the same time remains precarious.

No effective State institutions

Two weeks ago, on 17 February, Libya marked the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution which toppled the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. However, five years on, the UN envoy highlighted that the current political and military vacuum “is allowing terrorist groups and criminal networks to establish deep roots,” as Libya has “no effective state institutions.”

According to the Special Representative, the overwhelming majority of the Libyan people are in favour of the Libyan Political Agreement, and support the formation of a Government of National Accord that can effectively address the existing threats.

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