Amid fresh violence in Libya, UN mission urges all parties to give dialogue chance to succeed

5 December 2014 | Press Releases

Libya, 4 December 2014 – Strongly condemning the spiralling violence in Libya, including a recent round of air raids in the western part of the country, the United Nations Support Mission (UNSMIL) today noted with deep concern the “disastrous impact” the attacks have on civilians and infrastructure, and warned that the violence is also endangering the political process.

A destroyed house in Ahy Badr in the town of Mizdah in the Nafusa mountains in Libya after tribal conflict in March 2013. Photo: IRIN/Jorge Vitoria Rubio

A destroyed house in Ahy Badr in the town of Mizdah in the Nafusa mountains in Libya after tribal conflict in March 2013. Photo: IRIN/Jorge Vitoria Rubio

While the Mission has proposed to convene a new round of inclusive dialogue among Libyan stakeholders next week to seek ways to end the country’s political and security crisis and restore stability, UNSMIL noted in a statement today that the continuing escalation in the violence, and statements threatening more military action “do not help create the atmosphere conducive to hold this political dialogue.”

“Furthermore, this escalation amounts to an attempt to undermine the dialogue’s chances. Consequently, all influential Libyan actors are called upon to do their utmost to ensure that this escalation ceases immediately, to give the dialogue in which all major Libyan stakeholders are taking part in the chance to succeed,” said a statement issues this evening.

UNSMIL is convinced that those seeking to undermine the dialogue through these attacks will not achieve their objectives, said the statement, adding that Libyans wish for this dialogue to be successful and will not be deterred from supporting and participating in it.

Recalling that under UN Security Council resolution 2174 (2014), individuals and entities that threaten Libya’s peace, stability or security will face targeted sanctions, UNSMIL also noted that Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon has called on the parties to end the attacks and prevent further escalation.

According to the UNMIL at a ministerial meeting in Brussels this week, key members of the international community warned that if key stakeholders fail to participate in the UN-led political process they will consider additional measures to protect Libya’s unity, stability and prosperity.

The International Contact Group convened by the African Union this week in Addis Ababa has called for an immediate and unconditional end to the fighting, and expressed support for resolution 2174.

“Only a few hours ago, foreign ministers of Libya’s neighbours who met in Khartoum with the participation of Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Dayri called on Libyan parties to immediately cease armed confrontations and promptly engage in the dialogue called for by the United Nations,” said the UNSMIL statement.

Finally, UNSMIL reminded the Libyan parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law, which prohibits attacks on civilian targets such as airports or ports or any other facility not being used for military purposes.

Earlier in the summer, Libya seemed to be taking steps in the right direction with the election on 25 June of a national Parliament, a move the UN Mission hoped would thrust Libya toward political resolution. However in early November, Libya’s Supreme Court declared the national Parliament unconstitutional.

Moreover, on 11 November, Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) warned the UN Security Council about growing political instability in Libya. She said that the country is currently split with two governments vying for legitimacy.