Mercenaries and foreign fighters must leave Libya

United Nations (Associated Press)-United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres once again urged countries to withdraw all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, saying that they continue to operate in this conflict-torn North African country, in violation of last year Ceasefire agreement reached with “Libya” in October. Their activities have not decreased significantly. “

The Secretary-General of the United Nations also urged countries that provide weapons and military equipment to foreign fighters to stop violating the UN arms embargo. He said that the movement of aircraft providing logistical support in the strategic city of Sirte in central Libya and its air base nearby Increasing unabated”. Jufra area.

In a report distributed to the UN Security Council on Friday, Guterres called for “a comprehensive plan to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all mercenaries and foreign troops from Libya, with a clear timetable.”

He also urged all parties in Libya to “make every effort to ensure” the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections on December 24 in accordance with the political road map for ending hostilities last year.

Since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising overthrew the long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi and split the country into the United Nations-backed capital of Tripoli’s government and loyal to the eastern commander Khalifa Shift (Khalifa) Libya has been in chaos since the hostile authorities of Hifter. Each one has the support of different armed groups and foreign governments.

Hifter launched a military offensive to capture the capital in 2019. The battle was supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, and France. But his demonstration in Tripoli finally failed in June 2020. Prior to this, Turkey sent troops to support the government, which also received support from Qatar and Italy.

The subsequent peace negotiations initiated by the United Nations achieved a ceasefire in October last year and established an interim government that is expected to lead the country into December elections, but the Libyan parliament has so far failed to agree on a legal framework for holding elections.

Guterres cited preliminary differences in whether the presidential election should be conducted by direct voting or indirectly by the elected parliament, whether a referendum should be held on the draft permanent constitution first, and the qualification criteria for candidates including military personnel and dual citizens.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations urged political parties and agencies to clarify the constitutional basis of the election and pass the necessary election laws.

Guterres warned: “The political process is now at a critical stage, and the results achieved in early 2021 are threatened.” “The political process must satisfy the Libyan people’s desire to achieve representative governance through democratic elections.”

In July, the United Nations special envoy for Libya, Jan Kubis, accused “saboteurs” of trying to block the holding of key elections in December to unify the divided country. He told the Council that many of the major participants in Libya have reiterated their commitment to the election, but “I am afraid that many of them are not ready to do what they say.”

The Security Council warned that any individual or group that disrupted the election process could face United Nations sanctions.

Guterres cites Kubis’ warning that the continued existence of thousands of mercenaries and numerous foreign fighters poses a major threat not only to the security of Libya but also to the security of the region.

The UN Secretary-General also warned that the existence and activities of violent extremist organizations, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates, “are reported in all areas, including direct threats to civilians and UN personnel and attacks on security forces. “

The 16-page report details the ongoing violations of human rights by armed groups and units associated with the government, including killings, enforced disappearances, and conflict-related sexual violence.

Guterres called for an end to these abuses and “continue to arbitrarily detain immigrants in inhumane conditions in formal detention centers and establishments run by informal smugglers.”

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