Following the latest meeting of rival military leaders in Sirte, Libya, the head of the UN Mission in the country (UNSMIL) has called upon the national authorities to recommit to fully supporting the implementation of Libya’s 2020 ceasefire agreement.
On Monday, Abdoulaye Bathily, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, urged the government to allocate the appropriate resources, step up political efforts to end the stalemate, and reestablish legitimacy to Libyan institutions through elections.
‘Spirit of unity’
Since the 2011 overthrow of former ruler Muammar Gadaffi, oil-rich Libya has descended into multiple crises that has divided the country between rival administrations – a UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli, and that of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), led by General Khalifa Haftar.
Mr. Bathily, who chaired the two-day meetings, commended the JMC – military representatives from opposing sides, called the 5+5 – for their “determination and commitment towards peace and stability in Libya and its unity and integrity.”
And he called on political leaders “to show the same spirit of unity and abnegation as their brothers in uniform in the Joint Military Commission in order to overcome the current crisis”.
‘Instrument of hope’
The senior UN official reiterated the UN’s support to the JMC and relevant Libyan institutions in their efforts towards reunifying military and security institutions and withdrawing mercenaries, which is in accord with the action plan to preserve Libya’s territorial integrity.
Moreover, he stressed the need to identify ways to engage neighboring countries in ending the presence of these forces on Libyan soil and called on the international community to support the 5+5 JMC as “an instrument of hope for all Libyans”.
Among other matters discussed at the meeting, the JMC spoke about engaging armed groups with the aim of creating a conducive environment for sustainable peace and security in Libya.
The closing session was attended by a visiting team from UN Headquarters tasked to assess how UNSMIL is implementing recommendations made by an Independent Strategic Review conducted last year.
The review was intended to enhance the Mission’s delivery on its mandated tasks to best meet the expectations of the Libyan people and institutions for peace and stability.