Libya, 23 June 2015 – As part of an overall United nations-supported effort on the security track of Libya’s national dialogue, the United Nations envoy for country has met in Misrata with representatives of armed groups, stressing the importance of local ceasefires and reconciliation agreements are welcome developments.
“The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has repeatedly emphasized the importance of security and military officials from the conflicting sides engaging in dialogue,” said Bernardino León in a press release issued yesterday by the Mission.
The discussion is part of the overall UNSMIL efforts on the security track of the Libyan dialogue, which is complementary to the ongoing political discussions and critical for the success of the process.
In this context, UNSMIL is in contact with the various security and military actors on the ground in different areas of the country. Yesterday’s meeting was with armed groups from Misrata, the Western Mountain and other areas of western Libya.
It will be followed by similar gatherings in other regions, including Zintan. Also, a meeting is being prepared in Cairo, Egypt, in the coming days with representatives of the Libyan Army and armed groups from regions in the east.
“The cooperation of the armed groups is crucial for restoring peace and stability to Libya,” said Mr. León in Misrata, attended by representatives of the Municipal Council. He expressed the hope of convening the security track of the dialogue soon to draw a detailed plan for the implementation of the security arrangements and address security-related issues.
Giving an overview of the draft political agreement to end Libya’s conflict, the UNSMIL chief underscored the importance of the support of the armed groups for successful implementation, including their withdrawal from cities and towns.
In that regard, he added, recent local ceasefires and reconciliation agreements reached between localities in western Libya are welcome developments that “the Libyan actors should build on with a view to achieving a permanent and sustainable truce.”
During the meetings, the participants expressed their views regarding the way forward, voiced their concerns and discussed how to overcome them. There was agreement among them to hold a wider meeting soon to discuss mechanisms to consolidate the ceasefires and strengthen it by applying a number of confidence-building measures, such as the exchange of prisoners.