Statement from the United Nations Support Mission in Libya

13 Jul 2023

Statement from the United Nations Support Mission in Libya

Tripoli - The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is deeply disturbed by the continued abductions, arbitrary arrests, and disappearances of citizens and public figures by various security actors in Libya.

On July 12, former Finance Minister Faraj Boumtari was reportedly detained at Mitiga Airport and taken to an undisclosed location. Today, reports indicate that five members of the High Council of State have been reportedly banned from travelling at the same airport.

These acts create a climate of fear, promote tensions between communities and tribes, and have serious implications for the unification of national institutions. Moreover, this conduct is not conducive to the holding of transparent and inclusive elections nor national reconciliation.

UNSMIL calls on Libyan authorities and security entities to release all those arbitrarily detained, ensure independent investigations for all alleged extra-legal detentions and abductions and bring the perpetrators to justice. Furthermore, the mission calls on all relevant authorities and actors to ensure respect of human rights and the rule of law.

In a related matter, UNSMIL is also disturbed by reports of the shutdown of some oil fields in response to the abduction of Mr. Boumtari. This would needlessly cost the Libyan people their main source of income. The shutdown must be immediately ended. Libya's oil and other natural resources should not be used as a bargaining tool in any form of internal dispute.

UNSMIL calls on all political, security, and social leaders to refrain from any form of escalation including using incendiary rhetoric. They must remain calm, maintain restraint and avoid any unilateral actions. Libya cannot afford further division and deterioration.