June 17, 2024

UN Special Representative Bathily updates Security Council on progress towards holding elections in Libya

President Kagame meets with Abdoulaye Bathily, UNSG Special Representative for Central Africa- Kigali, 6 August 2015
Abdoulaye Bathily

Abdoulaye Bathily, the UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), addressed the Security Council on the situation in Libya on April 18, 2023. Bathily informed the council of the progress made towards holding elections in Libya by engaging with all stakeholders, including the Presidential Council, the Government, the House of Representatives, and the High Council of State, to achieve a consensus on political matters, security issues, and the participation of women and youth.

Bathily also engaged with key Libyan political leaders through shuttle diplomacy to seek common ground and encourage them to make compromises that will clear the path for elections. He emphasized the importance of the electoral process to mobilize the entire national community for peaceful, inclusive, free, and fair elections.

Bathily facilitated meetings between the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and Libyan security and military actors, including armed groups from all three regions of Libya, to promote the country’s territorial integrity, further national reconciliation, and strengthen the ceasefire. Libyan security and military leaders committed to supporting all stages of the elections, rejecting violence throughout Libya, and addressing issues such as the safe return of internally displaced persons, detainees, and missing persons.

Additionally, Bathily held several rounds of consultations with Libyans from all three regions, representing civil society, women, youth, political parties, notables, and cultural components, to hear and amplify their views on elections and their demands for greater inclusion in Libya’s leaders and institutions. He offered UNSMIL’s technical expertise and logistical support to the 6+6 Committee of the House of Representatives and the High Council of State to enable their work in preparing the electoral laws.

Bathily urged Libya’s leaders to expedite the work of the 6+6 Committee and publish a timebound work program to complete the electoral laws in time for the High National Elections Commission to begin implementing the electoral process by early July. He called on the government to provide the Commission with all necessary resources to complete its mandated tasks in a timely manner. Bathily emphasized the need for a level playing field that does not give undue advantage to particular candidates and engenders trust in elections among all sides.

While the overall security situation remains tense, Bathily noted that the ceasefire continues to hold, and there were positive developments on cooperation between the Libyan Army and the Libyan National Army and on the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries. He also co-chaired the security working group of the Berlin Process and attended meetings to discuss strengthening cooperation and exchange of information on mercenaries and fighters from Libya’s southern neighbors present in the country.

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