Former Libyan FM: Militias’ Disarmament “Crucial” for Fair Elections

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The former Libyan Foreign Minister, Abdulhadi Al-Hwaij
The former Libyan Foreign Minister, Abdulhadi Al-Hwaij

The former Libyan Foreign Minister, Abdulhadi Al-Hwaij said that “it is not possible to hold transparent and fair elections, with the spread of weapons in the hands of militias in Libya.”

In an interview with Erm News, Al-Hawij said that holding elections “is not an end in itself, but rather a means to renew legitimacy.”

He also called for “rearranging priorities, disarming armed groups, and launching a comprehensive reconciliation in the country. The main goal is to end the chaos, and move towards reconciliation.”

The former FM called on the UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily to “sit down with the armed groups. He (Bathily) should talk to the Libyan youth who carry weapons and tell them that their place is in the classrooms and the factories, and not to carry guns and fight their Libyan brothers.”

Al-Hwaij warned against the proliferation of weapons in western Libya, estimated at 21 million weapons outside the authority of the state. “This does not contribute to holding fair elections, and cannot protect the ballot box,” he affirmed.

On Monday, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations for Political Affairs in Libya, Raisedon Zenenga attended a workshop on “State Monopoly on Weapons in Libya”, organized by the Joint Operations Centre.

UNSMIL tweeted, ”Zenenga highlighted the challenge posed to the safety and security of Libyans and to the reunification of State security institutions by the proliferation of weapons in the country, under the control of various state and non-state actors.”

It added that Zenenga “underscored the need for progressive steps to bring weapons under the control and responsibility of the Libyan State, which can exercise their use in a legitimate and accountable manner, aimed at providing security to the Libyan people under the rule of law.”

He reiterated the UNSMIL’s “continued support to Libyan-led efforts on SSR, DDR, the withdrawal of foreign forces, foreign fighters, and mercenaries and the disposal of remnants of war and unexploded ordnance.”

Libya’s Al-Hwaij Calls for Reunification & Holding Elections
UNSMIL Confirms Support for Disarming Militias in Libya