UN Envoy Calls for “Alternative Mechanisms” to Hold Elections in Libya

The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily
The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily

The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily called for “adopting alternative mechanisms to end the interim phase in Libya.” This will be done if the Parliament and the High Council of State (HCS) fail to reach an agreement on the constitutional basis for holding elections.

In his brief before the United Nations Security Council, Bathily said that “the protracted crisis in Libya significantly impacts people’s wellbeing, compromises their security, and threatens their very existence. It also carries a serious risk of further dividing the country and its institutions.”

“We can already witness the signs of the partition with two parallel governments, separate security apparatuses, and a divided central bank,” Bathily added

He vowed that UNSMIL will provide the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) with relevant technical support and expertise. “The proliferation of weapons under the control of various state and non-state actors and the presence of foreign fighters, foreign forces, and mercenaries continue to pose a serious challenge to the safety and security of Libyans, and undermines efforts to unify the country’s security institutions,” he noted.

Bathily revealed that 39 people have been killed and maimed in explosive remnants of war incidents, including 11 children in 2022. About 76% of those affected were civilians, he added.

He called on all Libyan officials to renew registration for international non-governmental humanitarian organizations and expedite visa approvals for their staff operating in Libya.

The UN Envoy affirmed the need to apply pressure on the country’s political leaders on the urgency of finalizing the constitutional basis.”We need to think creatively about ways to ensure that free, fair, transparent, and simultaneous Presidential and Parliamentary elections are organised and held under a single, unified, and neutral administration,” Bathily said.

He pointed out that those who wish to run as candidates must resign from their current functions, to create a level playing field for all. As well as adding that it was necessary to hold individuals and entities acting or supporting acts that prevent or undermine the holding of elections, accountable.