Security Working Group urges Libyan actors to create conducive environment for an inclusive political settlement

SRSG Abdoulaye Bathily, co-chairs of the Security Working Group, and the 5+5 Joint Military Commission members in Benghazi / © UNSMIL

25 Jul 2023

Security Working Group urges Libyan actors to create conducive environment for an inclusive political settlement

As the United Nations Support Mission in Libya intensifies efforts to engage political leaders to establish a consensual path to elections, military and security actors in Libya will play an important role as key enablers of sustained peace and stability, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Libya said Tuesday in Benghazi during a meeting of the Security Working Group (SWG) of the Berlin Process International Follow-Up Committee.

SRSG Abdoulaye Bathily, who co-chaired the meeting with Italian Ambassador to Libya Gianluca Alberini, underlined in his opening remarks military and security actors’ responsibility to ensure a secure environment for elections, address various issues including those related to the armed formations, advance national reconciliation and transitional justice, and protect human rights and humanitarian law.

“The efforts of the House of Representatives and High Council of State 6+6 Committee are an important step; however, the electoral laws in their current state would not facilitate successful elections,” he said. “Additional work is needed to refine the draft laws by filling the legal and technical gaps identified by the High National Electoral Commission. We urge key stakeholders and Libyan institutions to reach an inclusive settlement on the main politically contested issues.”

Members of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission participated in the meeting. From the international community, ambassadors and representatives from the other SWG co-chairs, France, the United Kingdom, Türkiye, and the African Union attended today’s meeting. The meeting was also attended by ambassadors and representatives of Egypt, Germany, Tunisia, and the European Union. The U.S. Special Envoy, ambassadors and representatives of the Russian Federation, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Algeria, and the League of Arab States joined the meeting virtually.

SRSG Bathily commended the 5+5 JMC for their ongoing work to implement the 2020 Ceasefire Agreement and to contribute to the unification of the military institutions.

Fighting in Sudan has complicated efforts to coordinate the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya, he said. However, a mechanism to facilitate the exchange of data between Libya, Sudan, Chad and Niger has been launched. Liaison committees formed to work on the problem from these countries have been urged to revive regular meetings.

“While the JMC has accomplished much, we acknowledge that continued progress toward fully implementing the ceasefire agreement requires the conjunction of national and international actions,” SRSG Bathily said. “These political obstacles should not prevent you from continuing with the same fervor. Building confidence among military and security leaders is key to advancing the political process and creating an environment where transparent and inclusive elections can be conducted with all parties respecting the results.” 

SRSG Bathily urged Libyan stakeholders and national institutions to reach an inclusive settlement on the main politically contested issues.

“Here again I would like to call on all leaders to attend to the aspirations of the Libyan people,” he said. “The continuation of the current stalemate is dangerous.”

In his speech as the co-chair of the SWG this month, Italian Ambassador Alberini said holding this meeting in Libya is a significant achievement.

“This first meeting in Benghazi is an important milestone, and I’m proud Italy was able to contribute to it,” Ambassador Alberini said.

He joined the SRSG in praising the leadership, patriotism, and dedication of the JMC 5+5 and its commitment towards Libyan territorial integrity and national reconciliation. He also encouraged advancing solutions on the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries and on securing the electoral process.

The Security Working Group emanated from the Berlin Process for Libya, a multi-track UN-facilitated process, hosted by the German government and UNSMIL in 2020, to forge a consensus among concerned member states on the Libyan crisis and provide an international umbrella to protect intra-Libyan discussions about the future of the country.

This is the second time the Security Working Group has met in Libya. The first was in Tripoli on 24 May. The co-chairs and participants expressed hope that the next meeting will be held in another city or region of Libya.