Panafrican News Agency

UN special envoy in Libya announces plan for withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Jan Kubis, has revealed that the 5+5 Joint Military Commission will develop an action plan for a "sequenced, phased and verifiable withdrawal" of mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya.

This is to ensure progress towards the full implementation of a ceasefire agreement, he said on Thursday at a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, of foreign ministers of the League of Arab states.

"We intend to consult the relevant international partners on this plan for their support and cooperation," Kubis added.

He said he supports the efforts led by the Libyan foreign minister on the "Stability Initiative", which has similar objectives.

"We are also ready to support the Libyan-led process of disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and security sector reform in order to stabilise the country and the wider region. We are also ready to work on this with Libya and international partners, including countries in the region, especially Libya's neighbours," Mr. Kubis said.

He explained that preparations are now underway to send a first group of UN ceasefire monitors in the coming weeks to support the Libyan-led and Libyan-maintained ceasefire monitoring mechanism.

The UNSMIL chief stressed that the continued presence of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces remains a source of concern for Libya and the international community, including neighbouring countries.

Mr Kubis spoke of the positive impact of the recent reopening of the coastal road between Misrata and Sirte, noting that the tireless efforts of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission have resulted in the reopening of the road with the support of the UN Support Mission in Libya and the UN Mine Action Department.

-0- PANA BY//JSG/SOC/BBA/MA 10Sept2021