June 17, 2024

US urges Libyan leaders to make progress towards holding elections and achieving national reconciliation

In the aftermath of the revolution in Libya, large quantities of Unexploded Ordnance and stockpiles of munitions were exposed. UNMAS and its partners have collected and destroyed thousands of these remnants. UNMAS has also overseen the construction of a large-scale Ammunition Storage Area in Misrata, and work has begun on a second one in Zintan. One quarter of the UNMAS staff in Libya are female. UN Photo/Iason Foounten
In the aftermath of the revolution in Libya, large quantities of Unexploded Ordnance and stockpiles of munitions were exposed. UNMAS and its partners have collected and destroyed thousands of these remnants. UNMAS has also overseen the construction of a large-scale Ammunition Storage Area in Misrata, and work has begun on a second one in Zintan. One quarter of the UNMAS staff in Libya are female. UN Photo/Iason Foounten

On April 18, 2023, US Political Minister Counselor John Kelley delivered a speech during the UN Security Council briefing on Libya, urging Libyan leaders to demonstrate progress towards holding elections and achieving national reconciliation. Kelley expressed the United States’ unwavering support for Special Representative Bathily’s efforts to reach a political consensus among Libyans and hold elections as soon as possible.

He recognized the frustration among the Libyan people over the political stalemate, which has only become more pronounced since the failure to hold elections in December 2021. He called for constructive engagement in the inclusive process outlined by Special Representative Bathily towards a UN-facilitated roadmap to elections as soon as possible.

The US Political Minister Counselor urged the 6+6 Committee to contribute to this UN-led effort by immediately addressing the remaining barriers to elections. Kelley expressed concern over the uptick in illicit petroleum and arms trafficking, urging all member states to prevent such shipments. He stressed that these illicit shipments often fund destabilizing actors in Libya and steal resources rightfully belonging to the Libyan people.

Kelley also supported strict adherence to the arms embargo and applauded the EU Operation IRINI for diverting vessels containing arms and related material that could enable renewed conflict in Libya. He welcomed the ongoing work of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission to unify Libya’s security forces and fully implement the ceasefire agreement. Kelley noted that the withdrawal of foreign forces, fighters, and mercenaries remained essential in maintaining stability throughout Libya.

Kelley highlighted the urgent need to expel Wagner mercenaries from Libya, citing their brutal tactics and pursuit of Russia’s interests in Africa. He also expressed dismay over the final report of the Human Rights Council’s Fact-Finding Mission, which enumerated violations and abuses of human rights, particularly of migrants, in Libya. Kelley stressed that there must be accountability for these violations and abuses if national reconciliation is to be achieved.

He called on Libyan leaders to prioritize their nation’s interests over their own and demonstrate progress towards achieving national reconciliation. He emphasized that the people of Libya have waited long enough for this to happen.

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