Former Libyan FM: Weapons Must Be Collected Off Libyan Streets

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

The former Libyan Foreign Minister, Abdulhadi Al-Hwaij, visited the Republic of Uganda. He met with a number of Ugandan officials, including Babirye Milly Babalanda, the Minister of Presidency Affairs.

Both sides discussed the latest developments in the Libyan crisis. They stressed the need to respect the will of the Libyans to go towards presidential and parliamentary elections as a solution to the crisis.

Al-Hwaij expressed his thanks and gratitude to the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, and his personal follow-up to the course of the Libyan crisis and the situation of the Libyans in Uganda.

He stressed the need to put an end to the chaos of arms as a basic and important mechanism towards achieving peace and the return of stability to Libya. He also called for carrying out comprehensive national reconciliation in which all Libyans contribute.

Days ago, 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 Foreign Minister called on the United Nations (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.