The UN envoy told reporters in New York that the interventionist policies of certain international governments are worsening the crisis.
Rabat – Ghassan Salame, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has released a public statement, urging international governments to refrain from meddling in the country’s ongoing crisis.
Speaking after a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on January 6, Salame told reporters that the situation in Libya is “particularly difficult” and “bleak.” He explained that military interventions are only serving to bring more weapons into a country that is already saturated by violence.
Urging governments to consider the human impact and loss of life that more military intervention would bring, Salame said: “Libya is not only an oil story. Libya is not only a gas story. Libya is not only a geopolitical story: it is also a human story. And people are suffering, and for no other reason but for the fact that there is no international, clear message that enough is enough.”
The envoy urged all countries embarking on or carrying out military interventions to cease immediately, saying: “What I asked the Security Council, and what I asked these countries, is very clear: keep out of Libya. There are enough weapons in Libya; they do not need extra weapons. There are enough mercenaries in Libya, so stop sending mercenaries as is the case right now with hundreds, probably thousands, coming into the country of late.”
The meeting of the Security Council came after a drone attack at Tripoli’s military academy killed dozens of cadets. Since April the city, currently the seat of the UN-recognized government, has been laid siege to by the Libyan National Army (LNA). The drone attack, according to Salame, was an LNA move.
The UN envoy underlined that there will be no military solution to the Libyan conflict that has raged on since the fall of Muammar Gadaffi in 2011 and warned that further military interventions may destabilize neighboring countries.
Speaking about the possibility of an arms embargo on Libya, the envoy explained that: “There is a resolution calling for an arms embargo in Libya. Those who voted for this resolution are necessarily in need to implement it. If everybody violates the arms embargo, it’s a problem. But if those who voted for it are violating it, it’s an even bigger problem.”
UNSMIL is pushing for political dialogue to solve the crisis and has already launched a three-pronged initiative to bring the battling sides together to address the economic and financial situation, as well as military and security issues.
The first stage of the plan is already underway, with a meeting held in Tunis on Monday, January 6.
“I hope that in the next two weeks I will be able to launch the second track, concerning military and security issues: that is the ceasefire, the arms embargo, DDR (disarmament, demobilization and reintegration) process, terrorism and counter terrorism, and these kinds of issues”, Salame explained.
“And I am hopeful that before the end of this month we will be able to launch the political dialogue, probably in Geneva.”
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita today, Tuesday January 7, reiterated Morocco’s anti-interventionist position on the conflict in Libya,echoing Salame’s urgings to consider the needs of the Libyan people and the wider region.
“Libya cannot become a political ‘commercial asset’ that serves diplomatic conferences and meetings instead of serving the vital need of the Libyan people in peace and security,” Bourita argued.
He underlined that:“Foreign interventions have only complicated the situation in Libya, removed the potential for a political solution in the country, create internal differences and threatened peace and security in the entire Maghreb.”