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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

UN Envoy to Libya to Launch New Initiative Aimed at Holding Elections This Year


Mon 27 Feb 2023 | 10:07 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Abdoulaye Bathily, will launch an initiative aimed at enabling legislative and presidential elections in the North African country this year and will set up a high-level steering panel, he told the United Nations Security Council on Monday.

During his briefing, Bathily said the mechanism would bring together representatives of political institutions, major political figures, tribal leaders, civil society organizations, security officials, and other relevant groups.

He noted that the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) endeavors to facilitate dialogue with representatives of armed groups in the coming weeks.

He continued, "I chaired two-day meetings, on February 7th, in Egypt with representatives from Sudan and Chad who agreed on the mechanism of joint coordination and exchange of information between the three countries and the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters.

He indicated his intention to visit two neighboring countries and Chad to discuss the implementation of an action plan for the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya.

Notably, Security Council members have repeatedly stressed the urgent need for a Libyan-led inclusive political process and the holding of elections. 

Members have noted the precarious security situation, including that the protracted political stalemate continues to generate security threats, and continued to call for progress not only on the political track but also on the security and economic tracks. 

Many members have also highlighted the deteriorating living conditions across the country and the humanitarian and human rights conditions, including the situation of migrants and refugees.

As well, some members remain concerned about the situation of women and girls, including survivors of gender-based and conflict-related violence.

At the briefing on 16 December 2022, the UK highlighted reports of increased restrictions and decreased operating space for civil society organizations. 

Then-Council member Kenya (speaking on behalf of the three African members) emphasized that the peace process “must be truly Libyan-led and -owned” adding that “the international community should refrain from dictating solutions”. 

In its statement, Russia expressed the view that “Libyan politicians themselves are not very interested in finding a compromise” and that “the role of the United Nations is more relevant today than ever before”. 

In this regard, Russia called on UNSMIL to “step up its activity as an impartial and neutral mediator in moving forward” while expressing its readiness for “close cooperation and a substantive exchange of views” with Bathily.