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SC: Libya

Statement by Permanent Representative Mona Juul on the situation in Libya, 24 March 2021.

Thank you to Special Envoy Kubis, and congratulations on taking up this important post.

Since the last Council meeting on Libya, we have seen further encouraging progress on the political track. We welcome the new national unity government, led by Abdelhamid Dabeibah. This is a positive development, but only a first step in the process towards a political solution in Libya. It is critical that the interim government prioritises measures important to the daily lives of the Libyan people- such as restoring basic services of water, electricity, and health care.

Norway fully supports the Libyan people in their quest for peace and reconciliation through an inclusive political process.

Efforts should now be geared towards the upcoming elections in December, and securing legitimacy for a Libyan government through the people’s democratic choice. It is critical that the integrity of the political process is respected, and that international actors contribute constructively and in good faith.

President,

The fact that the ceasefire is still holding is a positive signal. However, the entrenched military situation is not sustainable in the long-term. A comprehensive and inclusive political solution is needed to break the military deadlock. An important first step would be the re-opening of the coastal road. Closely related to this is the need for foreign fighters and mercenaries to leave the country, in accordance with the ceasefire agreement from October 2020.

A comprehensive Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration process is needed for returning foreign fighters in order to avoid spreading instability in the region.

I would also like to reiterate the obligation of all countries to respect the weapons embargo instituted by this Council. As the Panel of Experts’ report clearly shows, there are blatant and systematic breaches of the embargo. This fuels the two sides, and the conflict.

Norway welcomes the progress report regarding the proposed mechanism for ceasefire monitoring in Libya. We support a role for UNSMIL in such a mechanism, and look forward to Council discussions on this matter. And, as the report emphasises, the mechanism should be Libyan-led and Libyan-owned.

President,

Turning now to an increasingly worrisome issue. Norway is concerned by the lack of accountability for serious human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. I would especially highlight the mass graves that have been discovered in Tarhouna. We urge the National Unity Government to investigate and prosecute those responsible without delay, and to offer their full cooperation to the ICC. Warrants of arrest issued by ICC must be executed. And the International Fact-Finding Mission to Libya needs to be given access to carry out a comprehensive investigation.

President,

Let me end by reiterating the need for a strong and clear message from the Security Council on the political process. There are many spoilers, and there will be several hurdles ahead. So there should be no doubt about the Security Council’s support to the interim national unity government and to the election process.

It is our responsibility as Council members to provide the Libyans with the support they need.