Leaders in Libya must take immediate steps to resolve their political impasse, which is spilling over into increasing violence, UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Tuesday.
DiCarlo said she is deeply concerned that the ongoing stalemate and continued delays in implementing the electoral process pose a growing threat to security in and around Tripoli, and potentially to all Libyans.
“That threat materialized just a few days ago, when Tripoli was again the theatre of violent clashes between armed groups supporting Mr. Dbeibah and Mr. Bashaga respectively,” she told ambassadors.
“In light of the deterioration of the political and security climate in Tripoli, the United Nations must continue to provide and enhance good offices and mediation to help Libyan actors resolve the ongoing impasse and seek a consensual pathway to elections,” she said.
“I urge everyone to support the Secretary-General’s efforts to help Libyans forge a path to peace.”
DiCarlo was also concerned about the limited political progress towards the elections, which the UN sees as the only way to break the current impasse.
“Despite our continued efforts, no progress has been made on forging a consensus on a constitutional framework for the elections,” she said. “It is critical that an agreement is reached on a constitutional framework and timeline for elections that will enable the Libyan people to choose their leaders.”
However, she was worried that oil fields could again close due to growing public discontent in the south over lack of basic services and poor living conditions.
“Libya’s natural resources belong to all Libyans, and revenues from oil exports should be distributed equitably and fairly,” she said.
DiCarlo called for restrictions on the population to be immediately lifted, warning that the situation could escalate.
She reported on other violations, including against people exercising their right to freedom of expression, migrants and refugees, and women activists.
“Smear campaigns targeting civil society actors, particularly women, consisting of hate speech and incitements to violence, are deeply concerning and must cease,” she said.