Joint tribunals should be used to try Libyan war crime suspects to end the impunity in the country, UNSMIL chief Ghassan Salame has said.

Speaking to the UN Security Council yesterday, Salame also called for a review of the management of Libya’s frozen assets which he claimed was causing the country the “silent loss” of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Freezing the assets is one thing,” he explained, “however, their mismanagement is another. We should revisit how Libya’s external wealth and investments are taken care of, so that they are not silently and gradually lost for future generations.”

Salame warned of the impunity that continues to prevail as violence increases daily and cautioned that murders such as the recent killings by gunmen near Benghazi and Wirshefana over the last month were jeopardising the political process.

I cannot accept that repeated calls for justice go unattended…if Libyans alone cannot combat impunity for war crimes, it is time for the international community to consider mechanisms that can help them do so; possibly including joint tribunals”.

Salame reiterated his action plan to bring about a political consensus on the basis of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) that was signed in 2015 and was supposed to act as a foundation for the next Libyan unity government.

The national conference planned for next February in Libya is hoping to adopt a new constitution and pave the way for new elections.

I insist the conference be inclusive for all the Libyans,” Salame added, “in order to allow the adoption of a true national charter and provide guidelines for the legislation needed to end the transition.”

According to Salame, the new mechanism to select a Presidency Council and government has to be transparent and fair. “We will not tailor a process to pick particular candidates,” he insisted.

I am pleased to report that the Libyan public has overwhelmingly welcomed this principled approach.

UNSMIL is intensifying its work with armed groups towards their gradual reintegration into civilian life.

In Tripoli,” Salame said, “our experts are working closely with state security forces to empower them to secure the capital more effectively.  Moreover, we continue our engagement with military leaders across the country on the future shape of Libya’s defence institutions.”


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