On June 23rd, many world leaders or their representatives gathered in Berlin in the 2nd Libya Conference, aimed at resolving the issues in the north African country.
Notably, the conference praised the progress, but said that much more needs to be done heading into General Elections that are supposed to take part on December 24th.
“However, more needs to be done to address and resolve the underlying causes of conflict, consolidate Libyan sovereignty, build on the progress made, and restore peace and prosperity for all Libyans. National Presidential and Parliamentary elections scheduled for 24 December 2021 need to take place as agreed in the Roadmap adopted by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Tunis in November 2020, and their results need to be accepted by all. The necessary constitutional and legislative arrangements must be adopted. All foreign forces and mercenaries need to be withdrawn from Libya without delay, and the security sector reformed and placed firmly under unified, civilian authority and oversight. A transparent and fair allocation of resources across the country must be ensured. Human rights violations and abuses as well as violations of international humanitarian law must be addressed and a process of inclusive, comprehensive and rights-based national reconciliation and transitional justice needs to begin. Inclusive intra-Libyan dialogue must continue.”
UN Secretary Antonio Guterres issued a video opening statement for the conference.
“I am very concerned about the serious and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. Some 1.3 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance, an increase of 400,000 since last year. I urge Member States to support the Humanitarian Response Plan requesting $189 million to support the most vulnerable, which is just 21 per cent funded.
Consolidating peace and building a prosperous nation needs to be founded on the respect of human rights for all. I am encouraged by the recent establishment of a committee to address the issue of arbitrary detention, particularly for the thousands of pre-trial detainees.”
Representatives of Libya’s interim government joined US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as well as the foreign ministers of France and Egypt at the United Nations-sponsored talks in Berlin.
It is crucial that Libya holds a national election in December as the only way to ensure peace and stability in the North African country, Blinken said.
“We share the goal of a sovereign, stable, unified and secure Libya, free from foreign interference,” he said. “For this to happen national elections need to go forward in December. That means urgent agreement is needed on constitutional and legal issues.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas reminded participants of pledges made last year for an end to international meddling and for foreign fighters or troops to withdraw.
“Those who promised to withdraw last time in Berlin have not kept their word,” said Maas in an interview with Die Welt daily.
“For the Libyans to determine the fate of their country again, the foreign forces must leave. The transitional government has also made that clear,” he stressed.
The UN estimates 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries are still in Libya – a presence seen as a threat to the UN-recognized transition leading to the elections.
The withdrawal of foreign fighters, which was agreed as part of a ceasefire in October, must be implemented in full and “without further delay,” according to the final declaration from the conference.
All parties must refrain from actions that exacerbate the conflict, including “financing military capabilities or recruiting foreign fighters and mercenaries,” it said.
Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush said that there was progress on the issue of foreign mercenaries.
“Hopefully within coming days, mercenaries from both sides (are) going to be withdrawing and I think this is going to be encouraging,” al-Mangoush told reporters after the talks.
Very few, if any, of the promises made in 2020 have been kept or fulfilled whatsoever. Turkey continues with its meddling and not withdrawing the Syrian mercenaries that it has deployed, among other issues.
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