UN envoy warns of Libya ceasefire collapse, hindrances to holding elections

UN envoy warns of Libya ceasefire collapse, hindrances to holding elections

July 15, 2021 - 21:05
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The United Nations envoy to Libya, Jan Kubis, warned in his speech at the UN Security Council Thursday of the collapse of the Libyan ceasefire agreement and the inability to hold elections on time.

"Because of this failure of both the constitutional bodies and the LPDF, the situation in Libya is getting more difficult, confrontational, and tense. Institutional, political and individual interests stand in the way of agreeing on the necessary legal framework for holding the elections on 24 December 2021, as agreed by the LPDF in its Roadmap, endorsed by the UN Security Council. Old and new status quo forces are using diverse tactics and often legitimate arguments with only one result  – obstructing the holding of the elections. My predecessor who had his own experience with similar approaches called them “spoilers” – a correct description given the impact of their approach and maneuvering." Kubis said.

He added that he was concerned about the wider ramifications of the stalemate in the political/electoral track and related issues that are the result of the standoff between key Libyan state institutions, in particular between the Government of National Unity and the House of Representatives, the Government of National Unity and Haftar's forces, the House of Representatives and the High Council of State, as well as between those who want to respect the 24 December timeline for the elections, and those who would see the elections delayed.

He also said Haftar's forces didn't allow the Government of National Unity to extend its authority to the areas he controlled, adding that the Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity couldn't agree on the appointment of the Minister of Defense, a position crucial for the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, for progress on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of armed groups, security sector reform, and the reunification of the military.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the solution in Libya is possible and needs Libyan-led and Libyan-owned elections on December 24, urging all stakeholders to ensure holding elections through a legal and constitutional basis.

Thomas-Greenfield said the international community expects Libya elections to be held as per the roadmap of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum and the constitutional basis should be approved for this effort, adding: "I can't be any clearer."

She also urged the international community to help deescalate military reinforcements in Libya and call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country.