Ceasefire Monitors Discuss Withdrawal of Mercenaries from Libya

Ceasefire Monitors Discuss Withdrawal of Mercenaries from Libya
Ceasefire Monitors Discuss Withdrawal of Mercenaries from Libya

Libyan and international ceasefire monitors held a meeting in Tunis on Friday, in the presence of the UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily.

The monitors discussed the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters, in order to “contribute to peace and stability in Libya,” Bathily tweeted.

“I commended the observers for their responsibility and respect for Libya’s sovereignty,” he added.

Notably, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UK, hosted a meeting on Thursday to discuss the security track, the continued implementation of the ceasefire agreement, and the reunification of the military institutions.

The eastern-based Libyan National Army’s (LNA) Chief of Staff, General Abdel-Raziq Al Nadhouri, and the western region’s Chief of Staff, General Mohamed Al-Haddad, members of the JMC, and Ambassadors of the other Security Working Group co-chairs France, Turkey, Italy, and the African Union participated in the meeting.

UNSMIL said in a statement that the UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily commended the military leaders for “demonstrating patriotic spirit in all the meetings inside and outside Libya.” He also welcomed the “participation and efforts of the Chiefs of Staff towards the unification of the military institutions.”

“I would like to reiterate my appreciation to these leaders for their commitment,” he said. “If political leaders come together with the same spirit, the crisis in Libya would have been resolved a long time ago.”

Bathily urged all SWG members to collectively support the implementation of national elections, to restore legitimacy to Libyan institutions. “The creation of a conducive security environment is key for the success of the process,” the statement said.

“We encourage the Libyan security institutions to continue working together for peace and stability in Libya. As well as to enable an environment conducive for the holding of fair and transparent Parliamentary and Presidential elections in 2023,” Bathily said.

For her part, SWG Co-chair and UK Ambassador to Libya, Caroline Hurndall welcomed the progress made by the JMC. She also noted the importance of building on this momentum to maintain and deepen Libya’s security.

“With the prospect of elections in Libya, ensuring a safe and secure environment is critical,” she said. “This will require all political and security actors to engage in constructive dialogues on election security. The international community stands ready to support Libya in these efforts.”

In subsequent working sessions, participants discussed the roles and responsibilities of the joint military force that was agreed to be established in previous meetings. They also covered the preparations required for the withdrawal of all foreign forces, fighters, and mercenaries ahead of their return to their countries of origin, building on discussions held in Cairo last month.

The co-chairs emphasized the importance of national unity and maintaining Libya’s territorial integrity, and called for constructive support from the international community to the UN good offices.

The meetings were organized under the joint UNSMIL-UNDP political dialogue project.