UN Supports Libyan Elections in December

Published June 7th, 2018 - 09:38 GMT
Libyan forces fighting ISIS positions in the country. (AFP/ File Photo)
Libyan forces fighting ISIS positions in the country. (AFP/ File Photo)
The United Nations Security Council reiterated on Wednesday its support for holding parliamentary and presidential elections in Libya in December.

Expressing its strong backing for the vote, the UN said the polls would be significant step in bringing peace to a country that has been destabilized since 2011.

The council adopted a French-drafted presidential statement that said: "The current political and security situation in Libya is not sustainable." 

It notes "the resounding call of all Libyans for credible, inclusive and peaceful elections in order to achieve a united and stable Libya."

The statement welcomes "the momentum generated" by an international conference on Libya hosted by President Emmanuel Macron on May 29 where rival Libyan leaders agreed on a political roadmap leading to elections on December 10.

A presidential statement is a step below a Security Council resolution and must be approved by all 15 council members. It is usually read at an official council meeting and becomes part of the council's official record, unlike press statements.

France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the presidential statement sends "a strong message to all the parties in Libya that the Security Council and the international community is fully united behind the results of the Paris conference" and full implementation of the agreement.

Libya plunged into chaos following a 2011 uprising that toppled and later ruler Moammar al-Gaddafi. 

France has been trying to play peacemaker in a country where years of efforts by the United Nations and former colonial power Italy have failed to bring stability.

The Paris conference brought together Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, head of Libya's UN-backed government in the capital of Tripoli, and General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army.

In the eight-point declaration that closed the conference, the Libyan leaders committed to accepting electoral results and ensuring funds and "strong security arrangements" for the voting. They also commit to work on "phasing out parallel government and institutions" and on "the unifying of the Libyan Central Bank and other institutions."

The Security Council presidential statement welcomes the leaders' commitment "to work constructively with the UN to organize credible and peaceful parliamentary and presidential elections, and to respect the results."

It also welcomes the Libyan parties' recognition "of the importance of developing a constitutional basis for elections." And it recognizes the key role of UN envoy Ghassan Salameh "in consulting with Libyan parties to set the constitutional basis for elections and to adopt the necessary laws."

Earlier on Wednesday, the United States said it had conducted a precision air strike near the Libyan town of Bani Walid, killing four ISIS terrorists.

The strike was carried out in coordination with the Sarraj government in Tripoli, a statement from US Africa Command said.

“At this time, we assess no civilians were killed in this strike,” the statement said. It gave no information on the identity of those targeted.

Photos shared by a local source in Bani Walid showed a white all-terrain vehicle that he said had been hit in the strike. The vehicle was streaked with blood and the roof and one of the sides had been shredded.

One of those killed in the strike was Abd al-Aati Ashtaiwy, a Libyan who had travelled to Syria and had previously been based in Sirte, which ISIS controlled from 2015-2016, according to the Bani Walid source and local reports.

Bani Walid is about 150 km (93 miles) south of Tripoli
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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