Libya po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment ‘out of reach,’ UN ex­perts con­cede

Panel paints grim pic­ture, say­ing re­gional sta­bil­ity is crit­i­cal to restor­ing or­der

Gulf News - - Middle East -

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”.

Po­lit­i­cal spon­sor­ship

“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.

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