UNSMIL: “Guns Must Be Silenced For Talks To Resume”


The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), stated that any conflict between Libyans was a “losing war”. It pointed out that there can be “no real victor”, but “only heavy losses for the nation, and its people, who have already suffered due to conflict for more than nine years.”

In a statement on Sunday, UNSMIL indicated that the political solution to Libya’s longstanding crisis remains within grasp. It added that the mission stands ready as ever, to convene a fully inclusive Libyan-led, and Libyan-owned political process.
“We are encouraged by recent calls on the part of Libyan leaders for the resumption of such talks, with an aim towards ending the fighting, and division.” the statement said. “This could pave the way for a comprehensive political solution based on the Libyan Political Agreement. As well as being within the framework of the Berlin Conference outputs, UN Security Council Resolution 2510, and other relevant resolutions.”

UNSMIL also stressed that guns must be silenced, in order for talks to resume in earnest. It expressed its welcoming of calls by international, and regional actors in recent days for an immediate cessation of hostilities. It called on the parties to engage swiftly, and constructively in the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks, in order to reach a lasting ceasefire agreement. As well as noting that these talks must be accompanied by the firm implementation of, and respect for, the recently renewed UN arms embargo on Libya.
“UNSMIL remains alarmed by the harm inflicted on the civilian population, by the continuing cycle of violence in Libya”. It added that “the recent military movements in Greater Tripoli, and Tarhuna have led to new waves of displacement, and suffering to over 16,000 Libyans in the past few days.”
“Reports of the discovery of a number of corpses at the hospital in Tarhuna are deeply disturbing. The Mission has called upon GNA authorities to conduct a prompt, and impartial investigation” It stated. The Mission has also received numerous reports of looting, and the destruction of public and private property in Tarhuna and Al-Asabaa. These cases “appear to be acts of retribution, and revenge that risk further fraying Libya’s social fabric”. UNSMIL reminded all parties of the need to respect the rule of law, international human rights law, and humanitarian law to protect civilians, and civilian infrastructure. This included healthcare facilities, schools, detention facilities, particularly in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.