Libya political settlement ‘out of reach,’ UN experts concede
Panel paints grim picture, saying regional stability is critical to restoring order
UN experts say “a political solution in Libya remains out of reach in the near future.”
The panel of experts said in the summary of a report to the Security Council obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that despite UN efforts to overcome the current stalemate “military dynamics in Libya and conflicting regional agendas show a lack of commitment to a peaceful solution.”
Libya plunged into chaos following a 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi. It is now split between rival governments in the east and the west, each backed by an array of militias.
In December, the United Nations said it was “intensively trying to establish the proper political, legislative and security conditions for elections to be held before the end of 2018.”
But the panel painted a grim picture of continuing disarray in the country, saying Libya’s stability is increasingly linked to regional stability, “notably due to the growing involvement of foreign armed groups from Sudan and Chad”.
“Starting in 2014, Libyan armed groups, benefiting from political sponsorship, have participated in the widespread diversion of state funds, notably through fuel smuggling and letters of credit,” the panel said.
The experts said Daesh cells continue to operate in central and southern Libya despite the group being routed from its stronghold in Sirte in 2016 by militias loyal to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.