UN urges Libyans work for peace at National Conference

UN urges Libyans to work for peace at National Conference
2 min read
27 March, 2019
The Security Council backed efforts "to mediate a political way forward in Libya that would lead to credible and peaceful elections."

Libya slid into chaos after a 2011 uprising that toppled long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi [Getty]
The UN Security Council is calling on all Libyans to put aside their differences and use next month's National Conference to work toward peace.

The council on Tuesday urged all those attending the April 14-16 conference in Ghadames near the border with Algeria "to come together to engage in good faith in this Libyan-led, Libyan-owned process."

The UN envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, urged rival factions last week to seize the conference's "crucial opportunity" to unite the country and chart a roadmap to elections and peace after years of division and chaos.

If the opportunity isn't seized, he warned that the only options are "prolonged stalemate or conflict."

The Security Council backed Salame's efforts "to mediate a political way forward in Libya that would lead to credible and peaceful elections."

The National Conference, which will take place in Ghadames town on 14 to 16 April, will be attended by more than 120 Libyans.

Addressing the Security Council last week, Salame said that his mission is to work with Libyan factions for the National Conference "to ensure as broad a buy-in as possible to the political process".

In his briefing, he said: "What is clear is that the Libyan people fervently desire that their institutions be united as soon as possible". He also said that a number of various forces will likely benefit from further turmoil.

"Unfortunately, they are up against powerful forces, which have materially profited from the country's chaos and division and are therefore loath to work towards a unification."

The conference, which will assemble rival authorities in the country, will not include any foreign parties and it is hoped to be an opportunity to "put aside their differences for the good of the country, to unite, to avoid war and to choose a path of peace and prosperity".

The UN envoy stated that the conference will attempt to conclude the country's eight-year conflict by means of parliamentary and presidential elections, as well as decide whether to endorse a National Charter drafted during consultations.

Libya slid into chaos after a 2011 uprising that toppled long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

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