UNSMIL Statement on Recent Developments in Libya

The tragedy that has beset Libya for more than a year has proven, beyond any doubt, that any war among Libyans is a losing war.  There can be no real victor, only heavy losses for the nation and its people, who have already suffered due to conflict for more than nine years.

A political solution to Libya's longstanding crisis remains within grasp and the Mission, as ever, stands ready to convene a fully inclusive Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process.  We are encouraged by recent calls on the part of Libyan leaders for the resumption of such talks with an aim towards ending the fighting and division.  This can pave the way for a comprehensive political solution based on the Libyan Political Agreement and within the framework of the Berlin Conference Conclusions, UN Security Council Resolution 2510, and other relevant resolutions.

In order for talks to resume in earnest, the guns must be silenced.  In that light, UNMSIL welcomes the calls by international and regional actors in recent days for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya.  UNSMIL calls on the Libyan parties to engage swiftly and constructively in the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks in order to reach a lasting ceasefire agreement.  The 5+5 talks must be accompanied by firm implementation of and respect for the recently renewed UN Arms Embargo on Libya.

UNSMIL remains alarmed by the harm inflicted on the civilian population by the continuing cycle of violence in Libya.  The recent military movements in Greater Tripoli and Tarhouna have led to new waves of displacement and suffering of over 16,000 Libyans in the past few days.

Reports of the discovery of a number of corpses at the hospital in Tarhouna are deeply disturbing.  The Mission has called upon GNA authorities to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation.  We have also received numerous reports of the looting and destruction of public and private property in Tarhuna and Alasabaa which in some cases appear to be acts of retribution and revenge that risk further fraying Libya's social fabric.

The Mission reminds all parties in Libya of the need to respect the rule of law, international human rights law and humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, schools, detention facilities, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Source: UN)

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