By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 15 July 2015:
UNSMIL chief Bernardino Leon today delivered an upbeat report to the members of the United Nations . . .[restrict]Security Council, even though he stressed that the peace accord initialed three days ago in Skirhat was only the beginning of a long process.
Leon made a point of saying that the door still remained open to the General National Congress to overturn their refusal to initial the agreement.
Of the GNC itself he said he wished “to emphasise and acknowledge their important role in developing this text. This agreement is also the fruit of their hard work, and they should not be on the sidelines as this shared vision for a solution to the crisis continues to take shape”.
While Leon that that it should be clearly understood that the Skirhat agreement would not be amended further, he held out the opportunity for the GNC to play a role in the formation of what is now being called the Government of National Accord and also to contribute to the annexes to the agreement which have yet to be finalised.
Though he did not mention the sanction word, Leon urged: “Spoilers should be held accountable, as they bear the responsibility of hindering the political agreement. Once again,” he added, “we must join together and send an unequivocal message that only through dialogue and political compromise, can a peaceful resolution of the conflict be achieved”.
Leon said that his talks with militia leaders, in what UNSMIL calls the “security track” would continue and he expected to hold a meeting in “the coming weeks” in Egypt. He said that before the final signing of the agreement, he intended to call a meeting of all “security actors”.
Meanwhile he deplored the upsurge of fighting in Benghazi following the assault by the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council last week. He said that UNSMIL should focus more clearly on bring an end to the fighting, which he believed that neither side could win.
He also expressed concern at the plight of refugees who have fled to the south. In Obari and Ghat, the humanitarian effort to help the locals as well as the internally displaced was underfunded and hampered by the security situation.
Saying he was encouraged by the release of prisoners following local peace deals in the west, he demanded that all people detained illegally, should be set free without delay.
“I have urged all parties to do so before the end of Ramadan” he said, “Such measures are not only a matter of human rights: they would contribute significantly to facilitating the next phase of the political dialogue and to reconciliation”. [/restrict]