UN envoy urges rival leaders to work with resolve toward holding elections as soon as possible. The UN warned Tuesday that Libya is at risk of partitioning since elections, which were scheduled for Dec. 24, were postponed last year.
Abdoulaye Bathily, the UN envoy for Libya, said some institutional players are actively hindering progress toward elections.
”The genuine political will of these actors needs to be tested against reality, as we approach December 24th, the first anniversary of the postponement of elections and the 7th anniversary of the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement, ” Bathily said as he shared Libyans’ concerns about delays to the long-awaited elections in a briefing to the Security Council.
”Further prolonging the interim period will make the country even more vulnerable to political, economic and security instability and could put the country at risk of partition.”
He urged Libyan leaders to work with resolve toward holding elections as soon as possible.
Bathily also encouraged the 15-member Council to send an unequivocal message to obstructionists that their actions will not remain without consequences.
Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power.
The situation has worsened since last March when East Libya-based parliament appointed a new government led by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, but Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, one of the two figures claiming power and authority in Libya, insists he will cede authority only to a government that comes through an “elected parliament,” raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war.
Libya saw violent clashes between the two rival militias in the capital, Tripoli, which claimed dozens of lives last August.
US warns against reevaluating ties Libyan sides
The United States on Thursday warned to reevaluate its relationships with Libyan actors and institutions that “delay and obstruct progress toward political solutions.”
The statement was made by Richard Norland, the US special envoy to Libya, after concluding a visit to Tripoli where he met with Libyan actors, international partners, and the donor community, including representatives from the Government of National Unity, UN Support Mission in Libya, and World Bank.
During his meetings, Norland stressed the urgency of “concrete steps to establish a constitutional basis for credible, transparent elections in keeping with the aspirations of the Libyan people.”
“The United States chose Libya as a key country in its Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability and is committed to partner with Libyans in support of a more stable and prosperous future, led by an elected, unified government,” the US envoy added.
On the issue of conflict between the unity government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and the parliament-appointed government of Fathi Bashagha, Norland said talks and reaching an agreement are possible between them.