‘Profoundly concerned’ over violence in Libya, Security Council warns of possible sanctions

Civilians walk along Tripoli Street in Misrata, Libya. Photo: UNHCR/Helen Caux

Civilians walk along Tripoli Street in Misrata, Libya. Photo: UNHCR/Helen Caux

Libya, 26 November 2014 – The Security Council today expressed its “profound concern” over the deteriorating situation in Libya and its impact on regional peace and stability, warning of the possibility of sanctions.

In a press statement issued this morning, the Council, recalling resolution 2174 – which it adopted in August and condemns the use of violence against civilians and civilian institutions – emphasized that the Sanctions Committee is prepared to sanction “those who threaten Libya’s peace, stability or security or that obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition.”

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the “sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity” of Libya, the Council also underlined that there can be no military solution to the current crisis.

Echoing a statement yesterday from the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Council also strongly condemned the escalation in violence and noted with concern the recent attacks on public and civilian infrastructure.

Expressing full support to Bernardino León, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the Council urged all parties to “engage constructively with his efforts to resume an inclusive political process aimed at addressing the political and security challenges facing the country.”

In addition, the Council strongly condemned ongoing human rights violations and abuses in the country, as well as the use of violence against civilians and civilian institutions, and of public intimidation, including of UN personnel.

It also condemned attempts to intimidate and obstruct the proper functioning of Libya’s financial institutions.

Yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced deep concern over the uptick in violence across Libya and urged all parties to recommit to the values of the revolution that inspired the North African country’s break towards democracy.

Since the 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, violence among armed groups has spread throughout the North African country, causing a humanitarian crisis.

According to numbers provided by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), a total of 393,400 people have been displaced since May.

Earlier in the summer, there seemed to be steps in the right direction with the election on 25 June of a national Parliament, a move UNSMIL hoped would thrust Libya towards political resolution. However, earlier this month, Libya’s Supreme Court declared the national Parliament unconstitutional.