UN adviser tells Libya leaders to ‘preserve calm and stability’

Parliament’s move to choose a new PM has deepened divisions between rival factions and fears have intensified of renewed fighting.

UN acting envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams
UN adviser Stephanie Williams said Libya's political process must move 'forward in an inclusive, transparent, and consensual manner' [File: Fethi Belaid/AFP]

The UN chief’s special adviser on Libya on Sunday called on both its interim prime minister and his parliament-designated successor to maintain stability and said elections should be held as soon as possible.

Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, prime minister of the UN-recognised Government of National Unity (GNU), has said he will hand over power only after an election, and rejected parliament’s move last Thursday to appoint former interior minister Fathi Bashagha to head a new government.

Libya was meant to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in December, but arguments between factions and bodies of state over how they should take place led to the collapse of the process days before the vote.

UN adviser Stephanie Williams held separate meetings with Dbeibah and Bashagha on Sunday.

“I reiterated the importance for all actors and institutions to work within the political framework and, above all, to preserve calm on the ground in the interest of Libya’s unity and stability,” she wrote on Twitter.

She also said the UN “remains committed to raising the voices of the 2.8 million Libyans who registered to vote”.

Williams added she highlighted in her meeting with Bashagha “the need to go forward in an inclusive, transparent, and consensual manner, and to maintain stability in Tripoli and throughout the country”.

She said the focus must continue to be on the holding of “free, fair and inclusive national elections in the shortest possible time”.

INTERACTIVE: Libya Control map - July 27, 2020

‘Keenness on stability’

Dbeibah emphasised during his meeting with Williams the need to complete the roadmap approved in Geneva, GNU’s Facebook page said.

All parties are responsible for creating “the appropriate conditions for holding national elections and holding a referendum on the constitution during this year”, Dbeibah said.

Bashagha said his meeting with Williams touched on efforts to form the proposed government “in a transparent and fair manner”.

He also stressed “his keenness on the stability of the security situation and committing to the constitutional frameworks and timelines set for holding the elections”.

Racked by conflict since a NATO-backed uprising against longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya was for years split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each supported by myriad fighter groups and foreign governments.

Parliament’s move to choose Bashagha has deepened divisions between rival factions, and fears have intensified of renewed fighting among armed groups backing them.

Dbeibah survived an apparent assassination attempt last week after his vehicle was sprayed with small-arms fire in the capital, Tripoli.

Source: News Agencies