UNSMIL: The Situation in Libya is Fragile

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The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, said that the situation in Libya remains fragile, and that the withdrawal of forces by both sides has not yet begun. She also pointed out that the military aviation is being monitored at Misrata airport.

In a briefing to the Security Council via video conference on developments in Libya, Williams confirmed that the participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Tunisia agreed on the powers of the Presidential Council, and the Prime Minister with two deputies.

The UN official added that the participants of the LPDF agreed to hold elections on 24 December 2021. She also indicated that the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) is a sovereign institution and is able to organise elections if conditions and funds are available.

Williams also stressed that 10 years of war cannot be resolved in a week and said, “The language of peace prevails over the language of war.” She explained that tangible progress has been made from a package of confidence-building measures between the Libyan parties and she expressed her optimism that flights will soon resume throughout the country. According to her, these developments demonstrate that Libya is on the path towards resolving the crisis.

Since the suspension of hostilities, the number of displaced people and migrants decreased from 426,000 to 392,000. However, Williams also noted the remaining obstacles faced by the return of the displaced to their homes, including mines.

Regarding the health situation in Libya, Williams said that the closure of health facilities continues due to the shortage of workers and equipment. She added that this does not only harm the efforts to confront COVID-19, but also harms the healthcare provided to patients in general.
She pointed out that vaccines in Libya are nearing their exhaustion, which is increasing the risk of the spread of preventable diseases.