As of Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, voiced her fears that Libya may return to its previous instability. With this statement, she called for an election in Libya as soon as possible. This is an attempt to unite Libya.
This political stability began because Libya failed to hold the election that was supposed to take place on December 24th, 2021. This election was supposed to be held under the UN, precisely for their reconciliation effort. As a result, DiCarlo informed the UN Security Council that with the support of the UN initiative, they both together would cause the committees from Libya’s House of Representatives and High State Council to convene as an effort to help both parties reach an agreement on when the election should take place.
As a result, the House of Representatives named a new prime minister. Fathi Bashagha, a former interior minister, has been elected to lead an interim government in February. However, previous interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh refused to step down. Lawmakers in Libya claim that Dheibeh’s status as a Prime Minister expired when the election meant to take place in December of 2021 never happened.
As a result, Stephanie Williams — a UN special adviser to Libya — has asked the House of Representatives and High State Council to appoint six members for a joint committee. Both parties responded positively to this suggestion. Furthermore, Williams offered to mediate discussions between both Ddeibeh and Bashagha.
With the ongoing crisis that appears to be solved for now, DiCarlo also bought the attention of the UN council about the many human rights struggles that persist in Libya. Moreover, DiCarlo warned that there have been an increase in tensions pertaining to human rights. She brings attention to the increase of “hate speech, defamation and threats, as well as incitement to violence and acts of violence against activists, journalists and political actors, including women” the United Nations states in a news article. Furthermore, the United Nations reports that human rights activists have been detained by both state and non-state figures and that refugees continue to be thrown into detention centers.
In conclusion, Under-Secretary General DiCarlo fears instability may return to Libya since they have failed to hold an election in late December of 2021. Within Libya, both the House of Representatives and the High State Council have been in conflict with one another. The former instated a new interim Prime Minister as they argue that since the election failed to happen, the status of the previous Prime Minister — Dbeibeh — had expired. However, Ddeibeh refused to step down. As a result, the UN’s special adviser to Libya, Stephanie Williams, urged both parties to reconcile by appointing six members from each party to create a committee. Both parties agreed, and tensions seemed to have ceased for now.
With the help of DiCarlo and Williams, a crisis has been avoided for the time being. However, there are still many pressing concerns within Libya. In addition to all this, DiCarlo directs the UN’s attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis within Libya. DiCarlo discusses that there have been violent attacks on human rights activists, women, journalists, and others. She additionally speaks on how refugees are continuing to be thrown into detention centers. Although trouble within Libya persists, luckily, those in power are beginning to draw the attention of others to help sort out these issues.