18 December 2016 - The United Nations congratulates the Presidency Council, the Albunyan Almarsous (ABAM) forces and the Libyan people for their victory over the Islamic State in Sirte. This victory is a major step forward in liberating Libya from terrorism, ending the days of the Islamic State controlling territory in the country.
“Defeating terrorism throughout Libya benefits all Libyans,” said Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). “I pay tribute to the Libyans who have sacrificed their lives for this common cause. My sincere condolences to their families and I wish those injured a speedy recovery.” he added.
The SRSG stressed that the immediate recovery of Sirte must be a priority. He urged the Presidency Council to put forward a Sirte governance, stabilization and security plan. Sirte needs mine clearance, the safe return of internally displaced people, the delivery of humanitarian aid and the provision of treatment to those wounded during the fighting. The SRSG also acknowledged the valuable international assistance provided to ABAM in Sirte and underlined the need for continued collaboration in the fight against terrorism and in the recovery phase.
“Libyans should remain vigilant in the face of terrorism,” Mr. Kobler cautioned. “I call on Libyans to seize this opportunity to promote national reconciliation and push ahead with the implementation of the interim security arrangements. This requires the integration and rehabilitation of fighters and weapons’ collection to give way to a professional security apparatus with a unified command.”