UN: UN envoy says Libyan parties must come together, make final push for peace

New York, US (PANA) - With the UN-supported political dialogue process in Libya nearing its last stages, time is running out for leaders on all sides and at all levels to make the final push, the head of the UN Mission in the country (UNSMIL), Mr. Bernardion Leon, told the UN Security Council.

A UN statement issued to reporters on Thursday indicated that the Security Council late
Wednesday in New York, held a closed-door meeting on the situation in Libya.

The statement quoted the UN envoy in Libya as stating: "Overcoming the political polarization
and divisiveness in Libya will be no easy task, the onus is on Libya’s leaders on all sides, and
at all levels, to make that final push towards peace."

It said that Mr. Leon briefed the 15-member Council body via video-conference from Paris,
noting that the magnitude of the challenges should not be underestimated, nor of the resources required to pull the country back from the brink of economic meltdown and total
collapse of State institutions.

He said: "It will be the determination and commitment of Libyans themselves, more specifically
their political leaders, to safeguard the country. The international community must move quickly to present a clearly articulated strategy in support of the Libyan State."

Outlining the details of the UN Secretary-General’s latest report, which painted a mixed picture
of the evolving security dynamics in Libya, the envoy said "while the situation in western Libya had witnessed a marked reduction in military tensions, this stood in stark contrast to
security dynamics elsewhere in the country."

He stated: "Fifteen months since the start of military operations in Benghazi, confrontations
have gradually transformed into war of trenches with no immediate end foreseen. The situation in the south is equally appalling, where the absence of the State and of a properly functioning security apparatus has exacerbated competition among rival groups for power and resources."

"At the national level, the scale of human suffering is staggering for a country with large oil
reserves and strong economic potential, and an estimated 1.9 million people require urgent
assistance to meet their basic health-care needs, and access to food is a major problem for
1.2 million people.

"Close to 250,000 migrants are estimated to be in or transiting through the country, many of them facing significant protection issues, and this year alone has seen more than 2,000
migrants drown in the Mediterranean Sea, the vast majority in a desperate bid to reach Europe," he explained.

PANA in New York recalled that the envoy had in mid-July briefed the Security Council, noting that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL) or Da’esh, has extended to a 200-kilometre stretch of coastline east and west of Sirte.

"Libyan stakeholders must recognize that no strategy aimed at containing, if not eliminating,
the Da’esh threat would be viable unless it was part of a concerted, unified and coordinated
effort that brought all Libyans together under a single banner," he stated during the mid-July

He also said that following development, he reconvened political talks in Geneva on 11 and
12 August focusing on ways of expediting dialogue ahead of the 21 October deadline, when
the mandate of the House of Representatives would end.

Although the General National Congress in Tripoli did not initial the main text of the Libyan
Political Agreement along with other dialogue participants on 11 July, he had said that he was confident that their concerns could be addressed in the ongoing discussions on the annexes.

Mr. Leon said that, seven months since the the UN mission in Libya launched the political
dialogue process, the talks had came a long way in narrowing the trust deficit that existed
among the country’s political stakeholders and in forging agreement on a road map to end the country’s political crisis and military conflict.

He, however, called on "Libyan leaders not to squander the historic and unique opportunity
they have before them to be peacemakers", adding that, "the agreement may not be perfect,
but it was a fair and reasonable one in which the only winners are the Libyan people."
-0- PANA AA/VAO 27Aug2015

27 august 2015 14:25:47

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