Time is not on Libya’s side, UN Chief Warns

Secretary-General video conference to the Security Council on the Situation in Libya Secretary-General video conference to the Security Council on the Situation in Libya UNSMIL

08 July 2020

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres assures time is running out for bringing a peaceful end to the conflict in Libya

On Wednesday 8 July 2020, the UN Chief briefed the Security Council and described the context in Libya as “gloomy” due to the new phase of fighting the conflict is entering, the rising foreign interference, and the seven-fold increase in COVID-19 cases.

According to the Secretary-General, the conflict in Libya “has entered a new phase as foreign interference is reaching unprecedented levels, including in the delivery of sophisticated equipment and the number of mercenaries involved in the fighting”. The UN is very concerned by the violation of the UN arms embargo, Security Council’s resolutions and commitments made at the Berlin International Conference on Libya in January 2020.

Mr. Guterres also mentioned that the number of internally displaced persons in Libya has overcome the 400,000 people. In addition, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) documented an increase of 172% in civilian casualties in the 1 April and 30 June period, with at least 356 casualties, including 102 civilian deaths and 254 injuries.

The Secretary-General added the COVID-19 as a cause of growing concern in Libya. The country has reported a total of 1,046 confirmed cases and 32 deaths. Hence, Guterres strongly urged the Libyan authorities to strengthen its capacity to combat and contain the virus.

Moreover, Mr. Guterres confirmed the UN is ready to continue to help Libya in the investigation on  mass graves discovered when the former Government of National Accord (GNA) forces retook control of Tarjouna. Similarly, he acknowledged that, despite the GNA is calling for national elections, Libya’s situation is still fragile.


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Author: Carolina Tellez; Editor: Sara Gorelli

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