UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has hailed “tangible progress” recently made in tackling the almost decade-long Lybia crisis, demanding that all foreign troops and mercenaries leave the country by the week end.
A report submitted on Monday to the Security Council said “Tangible progress was achieved in advancing the UNSMIL-facilitated political, security and economic intra-Libyan dialogues over the past few months,”
Guterres further noted that “sustained international engagement” in UN-facilitated talks “has generated considerable impetus, demonstrated by tangible progress on the political, security, economic and international humanitarian law and human rights tracks, moving Libya forward on the road to peace, stability and development,”
Recognising that the “Libya economy is at a precipice,” the UN head urged all parties in the drawn-out civil war “to maintain their resolve in reaching a lasting political solution to the conflict, resolving economic issues and alleviating the humanitarian situation for the benefit of all Libyan people.”
He also urged all “regional and international actors to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement” agreed upon on 23 October that set out a withdrawal within three months of all foreign troops and mercenaries from the country.
That deadline for withdrawal falls on Saturday, and the UN estimates there are still some 20 000 foreign forces and mercenaries in Lybia helping the warring factions, the UN-backed government of National Unity in Tripoli and strongman Khalifa Hafta in the east of the country.
Guterres encouraged all parties to implement the terms of the ceasefire “without delay” something he noted ” includes ensuring the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Lybia, and the full and unconditional respect of the Security Council arms embargo,” which has been in place since the conflict broke out almost a decade ago.