The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 802nd meeting held on 17 October 2018, received a briefing on the situation in Libya.

Council took note of the statement made by the Head of the Peace Support Operations Division, Mr. Sivuyile Bam, on behalf of the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, as well as the briefing made by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Libya and Head of the AU Liaison Office, Madam Wahida Ayari. Council also took note of the statement made by the representative of the Chairperson of the AU High Level Committee for Libya, President Denis Sasso Nguesso of the Republic of Congo. Council further took note of the statements made by the Permanent Representative of Libya to the African Union, and by the Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the AU, in its capacity as one of the neighbouring countries of Libya, as well as by the representatives of the United Nations and the European Union.

Council recalled all its previous decisions and pronouncements on the situation in Libya, particularly Communiqué [PSC/MIN. (DCCXCVII)]  adopted at its ministerial level meeting held on 24 September 2018, on the margins of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America; Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR. (DCCXXXIX)] adopted at its 739th meeting held on 8 December 2017; Decision [Assembly/AU /Dec.695(XXXI)] adopted by the 31th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, from 1 to 2 July 2018; as well as the outcome of the 5th meeting of the AU High Level Committee on Libya, held on 17 April 2018.

Council expressed deep concern over the prevailing volatile security situation in Libya and condemned the activities of the various militia, terrorist groups, as well as foreign fighters that are escalating the conflict and undermining the functioning of the Government of National Accord. Council also expressed deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation, especially as it relates to the dire conditions of migrants, who are stranded in the country. Council also welcomed the efforts of the trilateral task force, comprising the AU, the UN and the EU in facilitating the orderly repatriation of migrants stranded in Libya. Council welcomed the efforts made and the cooperation extended by the Libyan authorities and reiterated its call for greater institutional support to overcome the challenges of illegal migration in Libya

Council condemned the fightings, which undermine the gains made so far and further complicates the search for lasting solutions to the current crisis. In this regard, Council underscored the imperative to find a rapid solution to the institutional and political impasse in Libya, which will pave way for lasting peace, security and reconciliation in Libya. In this context, Council welcomed the ongoing efforts aimed at re-unifying the Libyan national defense and security forces, in line with the conclusions of the meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on the reunification of the Libyan armed forces.

Council expressed its concern over external interferences in the internal affairs of Libya that have the potential to undermine the fragile gains thus far obtained in the peace process in Libya. In this context, Council underscored the importance of taking into full consideration the regional dimension of the conflict in Libya.

Council urged all concerned stakeholders, particularly the UN, to prioritize the establishment of the necessary conducive political and security conditions, including the promotion of national reconciliation and dialogue, in order to ensure the successful organization and holding of credible elections, in line with the spirit of the Libyan Peace Agreement, signed in December 2015, in Skhirat, Morocco. In this context, Council reiterated the importance of enhancing cooperation and complementarity of efforts between the AU and the UN, in view of the preparations for the envisaged elections and the sequencing of activities to be taken to this effect. In this regard, Council requested the Commission to expedite the organization of an all- inclusive national reconciliation conference, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the auspices of the African Union, taking into account the need to create conducive conditions for dialogue.

Council commended the neighboring countries of Libya, and the international community as a whole, notably through the UN and the Quartet, for their continued engagement in the search for a lasting solution to the situation in Libya. In this regard, Council welcomed the outcomes of the ministerial meeting held on 21 May 2018, in Algiers, Algeria. In this context, Council called for sustained and coordination of efforts among the concerned actors, particularly the AU and the UN, within the framework of the strategic partnership between the two organizations in the area of peace and security.

Council expressed, once again, its deep appreciation to the Chair of the High Level Committee for Libya, H.E. President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, for his relentless efforts towards finding a lasting solution to the crisis in Libya.  Council re-affirmed the pivotal role that the AU in the search for a lasting solution to the crisis in Libya, through the AU High-Level Committee for Libya and stressed the need for the AU Roadmap to take into account the evolving political and security situation in the country. Council also reiterated the importance of reviving the International Contact Group for Libya.

Council agreed to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede
Last updated by Limi Mohammed

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