UNSMIL Chief and US Ambassador to UN Say Foreign Forces and Mercenaries Must Leave – Al Marsad

The UN special envoy for Libya, Ján Kubiš told the UN Security Council on Friday that progress withdrawing foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya had stalled and their continued presence was a threat both of Libya and the African region.

(LIBYA, 22 May 2021) – The head of UNSMIL Ján Kubiš said recent events in Chad with the killing of President Idriss Deby by Chadian rebels were a reminder of the link between the security situation in Libya and the security and stability in the region.

“The high mobility of armed groups and terrorists but also economic migrants and refugees, often through channels operated by organised criminal networks and other local players across uncontrolled borders only enhances risks of furthering instability and insecurity in Libya and the region,” he said.

Kubis said UNSMIL had reported “the continuing presence of foreign elements, mercenaries and assets, thus entrenching the division of Libya.”

He said that the ceasefire agreement concluded by the 5+5 Joint Military Agreement in October 2020 had called for all foreign fighters and mercenaries to leave Libyan within 90 days, but that is still on hold. He warned that the failure to get them to leave could affect Libya’s political transition and the December elections, and that it would be “a significant threat not just to Libya security, but to the region as a whole.”

“It is therefore critical to plan and ensure an orderly departure of foreign fighters, mercenaries, and armed groups together with their disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in the countries of origin,” he said.

The head of UNSMIL said progress on the reopening of the coastal road between Sirte and Misrata and the start of the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries, fighters and foreign forces had “stalled.”

“Further delays in reopening the road work against efforts to build trust between the two sides and could undermine efforts to advance the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, to advance the political transition,” he warned.

CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS FOR ELECTIONS

US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, also criticised the lack of political progress. She said the Libyan leadership needed to clarify the constitutional basis for the 24 December elections and “pass the required legislation and ensure elections are not delayed.

She also said that “external actors involved in the conflict must cease their military interference and begin to withdraw from Libya immediately.”

“There is no room for interpretation here. All means all,” she added.

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)