UNSMIL Welcomes Reopening of Libya’s Coastal Road

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On Friday, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed the official reopening of Libya’s Coastal Road. It congratulated the Libyan people, national and local authorities, institutions, and stakeholders involved, especially the role of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) in this “landmark and historic achievement.”

In its statement, UNSMIL praised the support provided by the Presidential Council, and the Government of National Unity (GNU), under the leadership of Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba in this regard.

According to the statement, UNSMIL Head, Jan Kubis also thanked Dbaiba for the release of salaries for the security forces. Kubis hailed the ongoing efforts and achievements of the JMC and its sub-committees for laying the foundations for a durable peace in Libya.

He added that opening the Coastal Road is another step in “strengthening peace, security, and stability in the country, and in the unification of its institutions.” Kubis pointed out that the exemplary work of the military committee is also a signal to the leaders of the country to set aside their differences, and work together to implement the roadmap and hold elections on 24 December 2021.

“In addition to other significant confidence-building measures achieved thus far, such as the resumption of flights and the exchange of detainees, the opening of the Coastal Road is a critical step to further the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement of 23 October 2020 and, equally importantly, to allow the free movement of commerce, humanitarian support, and the people of Libya,” said the Special Envoy for Libya.

“The next major step in the Ceasefire Agreement’s implementation process is to commence the withdrawal of all mercenaries, foreign fighters, and forces from Libya without delay, starting with the withdrawal of the first groups of foreign mercenaries and fighters from both sides,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, the JMC announced the immediate reopening of the coastal road linking between eastern and western Libya. It assured all citizens using the Coastal Road that it will take all security measures professionally and completely impartially to ensure the safety of citizens’ passage.

The JMC reiterated that it would prevent the movement of military convoys on the road between the Abu-Qrain Gate to the Al-Talatin Gate, west of Sirte. It announced the assignment of a number of officers to monitor the situation, and called on UNSMIL to quickly take measures to ensure the presence of international observers on the ground. This is in order to contribute to supporting the Libyan monitoring mechanism.

It renewed its call for the Government of National Unity (GNU) to accelerate the appointment of a Defense Minister, and also pointed out the start of preparatory measures to remove mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya. It called on all countries to implement the Security Council resolutions related to the expulsion of mercenaries, and the outcomes of both Berlin Conferences.