By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 June 2020:
UNSMIL welcomed domestic and international calls for a return to political talks and called for an immediate ceasefire and respect for the UN Libya arms embargo.
In its statement yesterday, UNSMIL said that the tragedy that has beset Libya for more than a year has proven, beyond any doubt, that any war among Libyans is a losing war. There can be no real victor, only heavy losses for the nation and its people, who have already suffered due to conflict for more than nine years, it added.
It said that a political solution to Libya’s longstanding crisis remains within grasp and that it, as ever, stands ready to convene a fully inclusive Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process.
UNSMIL said that it was encouraged by recent calls on the part of Libyan leaders for the resumption of such talks with an aim towards ending the fighting and division. This can pave the way for a comprehensive political solution based on the Libyan Political Agreement and within the framework of the Berlin Conference Conclusions, UN Security Council Resolution 2510, and other relevant resolutions.
In order for talks to resume in earnest, it stressed, the guns must be silenced. It welcomed the calls by international and regional actors in recent days for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya. It called on the Libyan parties to engage swiftly and constructively in the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks in order to reach a lasting ceasefire agreement. The 5+5 talks must be accompanied by firm implementation of and respect for the recently renewed UN Arms Embargo on Libya, it added.
Over 16,000 civilians newly displaced
UNSMIL said that it remains alarmed by the harm inflicted on the civilian population by the continuing cycle of violence in Libya. The recent military movements in Greater Tripoli and Tarhuna have led to new waves of displacement and suffering of over 16,000 Libyans in the past few days, it revealed.
Discovery of a number of corpses at Tarhuna hospital
UNSMIL said that reports of the discovery of a number of corpses at the hospital in Tarhuna were deeply disturbing. It called upon the Tripoli authorities to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation.
Looting, destruction of public and private property and acts of retribution and revenge.
UNSMIL also said that they had received numerous reports of the looting and destruction of public and private property in Tarhuna and Alasabaa which in some cases appear to be acts of retribution and revenge that risk further fraying Libya’s social fabric.
Respect for International human rights and humanitarian law
UNSMIL reminded all parties in Libya of the need to respect the rule of law, international human rights law and humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, schools, detention facilities – particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cairo Libya peace initiative seen as attempt to keep Hafter and Saleh relevant – so far ignored by Tripoli