Libya: UN envoy in “intense consultations” to end political crisis, manage transition

A destroyed house in Ahy Badr in the town of Mizdah in the Nafusa mountains in Libya after tribal conflict in March 2013. Photo: IRIN/Jorge Vitoria Rubio

A destroyed house in Ahy Badr in the town of Mizdah in the Nafusa mountains in Libya after tribal conflict in March 2013. Photo: IRIN/Jorge Vitoria Rubio

Libya, 8 December 2014 – Ahead of dialogue due to begin tomorrow that is aimed at peacefully resolving the current political crisis in Libya, the top United Nations official in the country, Bernardino Leon, met with Libyan parties.

According to the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Mr. Leon met with Nouri Abu Sahmein in the framework of “intense consultations” being held by the Mission to create an environment conducive to the proposed Libya-owned dialogue, which aim to explore ways to identify and agree on mechanisms for the monitoring and implementation of a ceasefire.

The dialogue’s primary objective will be to reach agreement on the management of the remainder of the transitional period, until such time that a new permanent constitution is adopted. In particular, discussions will focus on finding consensual solutions to the on-going institutional crisis in the country.

“Decisions should be taken by the Libyans after a wide debate, for which the new dialogue session will only be a first gathering. A process should start and the participants in this dialogue should have the opportunity to consult further with their constituencies before decisions are taken,” an UNSMIL statement said.

“It is envisaged that these proposals can form the basis for further discussions and consultations outside the immediate framework of the proposed dialogue, and if deemed acceptable to the relevant constituencies, form the basis of a comprehensive political agreement,” the statement continued.

UNSMIL has undertaken intense consultations with all major stakeholders to create an atmosphere conducive to agreement and the aim is for the dialogue to provide a forum for the country’s political parties and tribal forces, as well as leaders of armed groups, to discuss consensus solutions to the violence.

Throughout those consultations, UNSMIL has stressed the fact that its role will be limited to facilitation of the proposed dialogue and to ensuring a positive and constructive environment in order to reach consensus as early as possible.

“UNSMIL’s facilitation of the proposed dialogue is undertaken on the firm understanding that the dialogue process itself and its outcomes will remain Libyan-owned, and will in no way prejudice the Mission’s own absolute commitment to Libya’s sovereignty and independence,” the Mission’s statement read, refuting media allegations about “purported leaked documents or agreements relating to the outcomes of the proposed dialogue.”

The Mission also stressed that no conditions would be attached to the dialogue, and that the talks remain the most viable and effective means of addressing with a view to ending the deepening political polarization and raging military hostilities. A spirit of compromise and consensus will be key to ensuring a successful dialogue that lays the ground for a stable and secure Libya.