Libya. Some leaders ‘actively obstruct progress towards elections’, says Security Council |

UN Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily informed ambassadors on the current deadlock and other obstacles to the vote, which was postponed last December.

Libya was split between two rival administrations following the overthrow and assassination of former President Muammar Gaddafi more than a decade ago.

Mr. Bathily last addressed the Council in October, shortly after arriving in the North African country to lead the United Nations mission there. UNSMIL.

Dialogue towards the elections

He held talks with key leaders, reminding them of their moral and political responsibility to work to bring the nation back to peace and stability.

“Over the coming weeks and months, UNSMIL will work to facilitate a conversation between key institutional players in Libya a step towards overcoming their differences and move forward towards the organization of free and fair electionss,” the envoy said.

Engagement with relevant segments of the general population will also be strengthened as they will be key to exiting the crisis.

“The accompanying support and pressure, from this Council in particular, and from the international community as a whole, speak with a united voiceunder the coordination of the United Nations, is likely to reap positive results,” he added.

Blocking progress

Mr. Bathily held consultations with stakeholders from all parts of the oil-rich nation, to encourage dialogue.

“The popular aspiration for peace, stability and legitimate institutions is clear from my interaction with the Libyans. However, there is growing recognition that some institutional actors are actively hindering progress towards elections,” he said.

“The real political will of these actors must be tested against reality,” he added, noting that almost a year has passed since the postponement of the elections.

December also marks the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Libyan Political Accord, a UN-brokered agreement on the formation of a unity government.

Risk of further turbulence

Mr. Bathily warned against extending the interim period as Libya could become even more vulnerable to political, economic and security instabilityas well as the risk of partition.

“We must therefore unite our efforts to encourage Libyan leaders to work with determination to hold elections as soon as possible,” he said.

“I urge this Council to send an unequivocal message to the obstructionists that their actions will not go without consequences.

Improving women’s rights

Libyan women also remain concerned about their ability to actively engage in the long-awaited elections, both as voters and candidates, the UN envoy reported.

In the face of increasing online violence against women, UNSMIL supports women’s groups leading a unified campaign to counter the attacks.

“I call for continued and consistent efforts to improve women’s rights and to enshrine these measures in the laws of the land. I am happy to see the active and positive participation of women and youth in my interactions with Libyans at the grassroots level,” he said.

The ceasefire still holds

Meanwhile, a ceasefire still holds, despite continued rhetoric of escalation and building up forces on both sides.

However, little progress has been made in implementing a plan to withdraw mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from the country.

Turning to economic developments, Mr. Bathily explained that the lack of accountability, transparency and fairness in the allocation of resources remains a major cause of tension.

He welcomed the Council’s emphasis on the importance of creating a Libya-led mechanism to ensure that oil and gas revenues are managed transparently and fairly, and with effective oversight, as set out in a recent resolution.

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