US Calls for Calm Amid Rising Tensions in Libya


The United States Embassy in Libya has affirmed its agreement with the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), regarding the recent arbitrary detentions, and subsequent reactions in the country. In addition, the Embassy strongly advises “against any actions that could escalate tensions, and hinder the aspirations of the Libyan people.” This statement highlights the embassy’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in Libya.

UNSMIL has expressed deep concern over the ongoing abductions, arbitrary arrests, and disappearances of Libyan citizens, and public figures by various security actors within the country. These disturbing acts have created an atmosphere of fear, fueling tensions between communities and tribes, and pose significant challenges to the unification of national institutions. They also undermine the prospects for transparent and inclusive elections and hinder national reconciliation efforts.

Recent incidents have further aggravated the situation. Former Finance Minister Faraj Boumtari was reportedly detained on 12 July at Mitiga Airport, and taken to an undisclosed location. In addition, reports indicate that five members of the High Council of State (HCS) have been barred from travelling through the same airport. Such actions not only violate individual rights, but also have severe implications for Libya’s stability and development.

In response to these developments, UNSMIL called on Libyan authorities and security entities to “release all those who have been arbitrarily detained, initiate independent investigations into all alleged extrajudicial detentions and abductions, and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable before the law.” The mission further urges all relevant authorities and actors to uphold human rights and the rule of law.

Additionally, UNSMIL remains “deeply troubled by reports of certain oil fields being shut down, in response to the abduction of Boumtari. This action not only jeopardizes the livelihoods of the Libyan people but also hampers the nation’s main source of income. UNSMIL emphasizes the immediate need to end the shutdown, as Libya’s oil and natural resources should not be exploited as bargaining tools in internal disputes.”

The Mission appealed to “all political, security, and social leaders to exercise restraint and refrain from any form of escalation, including the use of inflammatory rhetoric. It is vital for all parties involved to maintain calm, exercise restraint, and avoid unilateral actions that may further divide and deteriorate the situation in Libya. Unity and cooperation are imperative for Libya’s progress and stability.”