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UN envoy: Libya’s political deadlock persists with no clear end in sight

UN Special envoy to Libya Abdoulaye Bathily said in his remarks to Security Council Monday that the political deadlock persists with no clear end in sight to the prolonged stalemate over the executive authority.

Bathily pointed out that efforts to resolve the remaining outstanding issues related to the constitutional basis for elections do not appear to lead to concrete action by the relevant actors, further delaying prospects for the holding of inclusive, free and fair elections aimed at ending the transition and reinstating the legitimacy of institutions.

He added that there remain significant differences on how Libyans want to overcome the current crisis.

“In response to the near unanimous condemnation across the spectrum of the presence of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces in Libya and the incessant foreign interference in the country’s affairs, I stressed to all my interlocutors that the solution to the crisis must come from inside Libya, on the basis of the will of the Libyan people. I urged the country’s leaders to hear the people’s aspiration for peace, stability, economic development, and a responsive leadership,” Bathilty reported to the Security Council.

While the ceasefire continues to hold, the security track needs to be reinvigorated as it has been adversely impacted by the protracted political impasse, he explained.

The violent clashes in Tripoli on 27 August have resulted in a shift in the power balance in the capital, which has deepened tensions between Eastern and Western security actors and led to a fragile stability, according to the UN envoy.

Despite the noticeable decrease in mobilization of armed groups and clashes among them, there are reports of ongoing large-scale recruitment activities. Fighting between armed groups in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, on 25 September, trapped dozens of families for several hours and left at least three civilians killed, including a 10-year-old girl, Bathily stated.

“Further to my engagements with security actors in the East and the West, I am pleased to report that the 5+5 JMC has agreed to meet under UN auspices in Sirte next Thursday to discuss the resumption of the Commission’s activities to further the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement.”

The situation in Libya calls for a consensus State re-legitimation process. Legitimate institutions capable of providing for the basic needs of the people must be established on the basis of a genuine political will. In this process, the conduct of legislative and presidential elections is paramount, said Bathily.

The UN envoy announced that, in the coming weeks, he intends to undertake to facilitate a meeting between the main leaders of the House of Representatives and High State Council to understand the commitments announced in Rabat on 21st October and agree on political, constitutional, legal and security measures to advance preparations for elections as soon as possible in keeping with the aspirations clearly expressed by the Libyan people.

He also intends to travel to Sirte on 27th October to resume the 5+5 JMC work and revive the security track. “On that basis, we will also reinvigorate the political and economic tracks,” as stated.

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