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I. INTRODUCTION

1. In its press statement PSC/PR/BR. (CDXXXVI), adopted at its 436th meeting, held on 23 May 2014, Council expressed its deep concern about the situation prevailing in Libya and strongly condemned all acts of violence in the country, calling upon the parties concerned to refrain from any action likely to worsen the situation. Council underscored the serious consequences resulting from the persistence of insecurity and instability, both for Libya and its people and for the region and the rest of the continent.

2. Council reiterated the AU’s commitment and readiness to support the efforts of the Libyan people and Government to complete their democratic transition in the shortest possible period. Council encouraged me to appoint a Special Envoy who would hold consultations with the Libyan authorities and other stakeholders, as well as with the countries of the region, for the purpose of submitting a comprehensive report on the situation, including concrete recommendations on ways and means to increase the support of the AU to the stabilization process in Libya and to the speedy conclusion of the ongoing transition. Council agreed to consider this report at a meeting which would be held at ministerial level, as soon as possible.

3. The present report is submitted pursuant to the aforementioned press statement of Council. It recalls briefly the evolution of the situation, and gives an account of the consultations undertaken by my Special Envoy within the framework of the mandate assigned to him, as well as of other international efforts relating to the crisis in Libya. The report concludes with observations on the way forward.

II. BACKGROUND

4. Following the popular uprising of February 2011 in Libya, and the subsequent fall of Colonel Qaddafi’s regime, the National Transitional Council (NTC), which was established on 27 February 2011, took power and initiated a transition process. In this respect, on 23 October 2011, the NTC announced plans to hold elections within eight months.

5. On 7 July 2012, Libyans voted to elect a National Assembly, called the General National Congress (GNC). The GNC was composed of 200 elected members. Of these, 80 seats were allocated for political parties, with the remaining 120 going to independents. The National Forces Alliance (NFA) won a total of 39 of the 80 seats; the Justice and Construction Party (JCP) came second with 17 seats; and the remaining 23 seats went to other smaller parties.

6. On 8 August 2012, the NTC formally transferred power to the GNC, which held its inaugural session the following day. On that occasion, the GNC elected the Head of the National Front Party, Mohamed Youssef El Meguerief, as its President. In September 2012, the GNC elected Mustafa Abu Shagur as Prime Minster. Prime Minister Abu Shagur stepped down on 7 October 2012, after failing to win parliamentary approval for a new Cabinet. On 14 October 2012, the GNC elected Mr. Ali Zeidan as Prime Minister-designate. He was sworn into office on 14 November 2014, after the Parliament approved his Cabinet. In accepting his appointment, the new Prime Minster emphasized the establishment of unified military and national security forces and the promotion of national reconciliation as his Government’s priorities.

7. Notwithstanding the formation of the new Government, however, the country continued to face many challenges, including the proliferation of rival armed militias affiliated to cities, regions and tribes. In order to strengthen State authority, on 23 September 2012, the GNC announced the dissolution of all militias and armed groups that did not come under State authority. The Government’s national security priorities also aimed to strengthen border security in the South and resolve the security problems in the East, as well as to carry out robust disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs. It was against this background that, on 9 June 2013, the GNC requested the Government to formulate a plan, to be implemented before the end of the year, to end the existence of quasi-legal battalions as they are acting only partly under the State control, as well as illegal armed formations in the country. Serving members of these battalions and other armed formations were to be incorporated into the Army on an individual basis. The Government also launched a disarmament campaign to encourage all concerned to hand over any weapons in their possession to the Government, in exchange of monetary compensation.

8. While the Government of Prime Minister Zeidan made progress in the pursuit of its set objectives, the country continued to face daunting challenges, particularly with respect to the integration of militias into the formal structure of the defense and security forces, as well as with respect to national reconciliation. These were the circumstances under which, on 5 May 2013, the adopted the “Political and Administrative Isolation Law,” banning former Qaddafi-era officials from holding public office. The law has been contentious, and was debated in Congress for months prior to its adoption. The first official to lose his position was the President of the GNC, Mohamed Youssef El-Meguerief, who announced his resignation on 28 May, in compliance with the new Law. First Vice President Juma Attiga followed suit on 16 July 2013. Mr. Nouri Abu-Sahmain replaced Mr. El-Magariaf as President, following a vote by the GNC on 25 June 2013. On 16 July 2013, the GNC approved an electoral law, with a majoritarian system and single seat constituencies.

9. It is to be recalled that, under the Constitutional Declaration of August 2011, a full parliamentary election was scheduled to be held within 14 months of the first meeting of the GNC, that is, by October 2013. However, that timetable could not be complied with. In December 2013, the GNC voted unilaterally to extend its mandate for another year. The GNC also gave preliminary approval to a "Roadmap" on the adjusted timescales for Libya's transition to a constitutional democracy, setting February 2014 as the new target for the election of the Constituent Assembly, which will draft Libya's new Constitution. On 3 February 2014, the GNC adopted a “Roadmap” on future transitional arrangements, and agreed that its tenure would continue until its authority could be transferred to a constitutionally-elected legislative body.

10. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was dismissed on 11 March 2014, amidst differences between the two major political forces in the GNC: the NFA and the JCP. Mr. Zeidan was criticized for having failed to tackle growing insecurity and for inadequately addressing issues of service delivery, as well as for the oil blockade imposed by federalists in the eastern part of the country. The Defense Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni, was appointed as caretaker Prime Minister. On 4 May 2014, the GNC, in a controversial vote, elected Ahmed Meiteeg to succeed Mr. Al-Thinni. Subsequently, the legality of this move was challenged at the Supreme Court by 14 GNC members. Notwithstanding this challenge, the GNC went ahead and confirmed Mr. Meiteeg’s Cabinet on 26 May 2014. However, Abdullah Al-Thinni refused to cede power. On 9 June 2014, the Supreme Court settled the matter, ruling that the election of the new Prime Minister was unconstitutional and that Abdullah Al-Thinni remained as the Prime Minister. This decision was accepted by all parties in the GNC.

11. On 25 June 2014, parliamentary elections were held for the House of Representatives. 1,714 candidates contested for 200 seats. In decision Assembly/AU/Dec.536(XXIII) adopted at its 23rd Ordinary Session, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 26 to 27 June 2014, the Assembly of the Union welcomed the successful holding of the legislative elections. On 4 August 2014, the House of Representatives was inaugurated in Tobrouk, where it relocated as a consequence of the prevailing insecurity in Tripoli. 158 of the 188 (12 seats could not be filled, as elections could not take place in the concerned constituencies) newly-elected Parliamentarians were sworn-in, while the other members affiliated with the Misrata group boycotted the proceedings, as they opposed the relocation of the Parliament from Tripoli. On 12 August 2014, the Parliament voted in favor of a direct presidential election, as opposed to the President being appointed by Parliament. Subsequently, the Parliament dismissed the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, the Grand Mufti and the Government of the Central Bank. It also declared the forces assembled under the banner of the Misrata-led ‘Libya Dawn’ and the Ansar Al-Sharia elements as terrorists. On 28 August, Acting Prime Minister Al-Thinni announced his resignation in order to allow the House of Representatives to form a new Government. Mr. Al Thinni was tasked to form this new Government. His proposed Cabinet of 16 members was rejected by the House of Representatives, which requested that the new Government should neither exceed 10 members, nor include members of the previous Government.

12. In the meantime, the challenges facing the Government have become more complex. Aside from the threats arising from the actions of federalists active in the eastern part of the country and the occupation of oil installations by various groups, pervasive insecurity has intensified, marked by assassinations, kidnappings and other attacks targeting not only Libyans of all walk, but also foreigners, mention should also be made of the “Operation Dignity” launched on 16 May 2014 in Benghazi by senior military figures, led by former General Khalifa Haftar, against elements they characterized as terrorists. Subsequently, on 13 July 2014, the violence escalated, when major fighting broke out in Tripoli, following the offensive launched by a coalition of militias led by the city of Misrata, called Libya’s Dawn Operation, against a Zintan-led coalition that was controlling part of the city of Tripoli, including the international airport. The Libya’s Dawn militias captured the airport on 23 August 2014. In the course of the fighting, a number of aircraft were destroyed, while the airport itself suffered major damage. In addition to the international airport, they have also seized most Government institutions.

13. With the escalation of violence in Tripoli and Benghazi, on 17 July 2014 Libya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Abdelaziz, in a statement to the UN Security Council, appealed for the establishment of a United Nations Stabilization and Institution Building Mission for Libya as a means of empowering the Government. In response, the President of the GNC and a number of party leaders issued statements rejecting what they saw as the Government’s call for international intervention. It should also be noted that the forces assembled under banner of the Libya Dawn reconvened the former GNC, which elected Mr. Omar al-Hasi as Prime Minister. They claimed that the Interim Government and the House of Representatives have violated the Constitutional Declaration and lost legitimacy, viewing the call for international assistance as an act of treason.

14. As a result of the escalating violence in Libya, including the use of heavy weaponry in densely populated areas, the humanitarian situation has sharply deteriorated. According to the United Nations, an estimated 100,000 people were displaced in Tripoli and an additional 20,000 in the eastern part of the country. Over 100,000 people have crossed the borders into the neighboring countries. Many migrant workers have also left the country.

III. CONSULTATIONS OF MY SPECIAL ENVOY

15. As indicated above, Council, in its press statement PSC/PR/BR. (CDXXXVI), encouraged me to urgently appoint a Special Envoy who would undertake consultations with the Libyan authorities and other stakeholders, as well as with the countries of the region, in order to submit a comprehensive report on the situation, including concrete recommendations on the ways and means to increase AU support to the stabilization of Libya and the speedy conclusion of the ongoing Transition. On 11 June 2014, I appointed Mr. Dileita Mohamed Dileita, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti and former member of the AU High-Level Panel for Egypt, as my Special Envoy to Libya. In the communiqué announcing this appointment, I pointed out that the Special Envoy would work with the Libyan authorities and other stakeholders in support of the stabilization efforts, to promote national reconciliation and to facilitate the speedy conclusion of the ongoing Transition. I also specified that he would coordinate his action and initiatives closely with the neighboring countries and the AU’s partners, including the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the European Union (EU) and the concerned bilateral partners. The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union welcomed the appointment of the Special Envoy, and looked forward to his interactions with the Libyan authorities and other stakeholders, as well as with the relevant international partners.

16. My Special Envoy expressed the wish to proceed to Libya immediately after his appointment, in order to hold consultations with the Libyan Government and the other concerned stakeholders. However, due to calendar constraints on the Libyan side, this visit could not take place. On the margins of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, the Special Envoy met with the Libyan Foreign Minister, Mr. Mohamed Abdelaziz.

17. From 10 to 12 July 2014, the Special Envoy traveled to Tripoli, where he met with the Interim Prime Minister, Mr. Abdallah Al-Thinni, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Abdelaziz. They welcomed the initiative taken by the AU to appoint a Special Envoy, hoping that this would translate into stronger support to the Transition process in their country. They expressed their concerns about the threat that the militias and other armed groups posed to the stability of the country and the region as a whole. These concerns were palpable in light of the very tight security arrangements around the Government building where the meeting took place. It also reflected the weakness of the authorities to confront these armed groups.

18. During his stay, the Special Envoy also met with the representatives of other stakeholders such as the JCP and the NFA, as well as with representatives of the Tubu and Tuareg communities. Although all the parties stressed the need to restore State authority and affirmed their support for an inclusive dialogue to overcome the crisis, it became clear that their respective positions were very far apart, reducing the likelihood of success of a national dialogue process.


19. The representatives of the NFA highlighted the importance of strengthening the country’s security institutions, adding that they actively supported the organization of the election of the members of the House of Representatives, as these polls marked a major step towards the resolution of the political crisis. The representatives of the NFA argued that the isolation law, adopted on 5 May 2013 by the GNC, was a political mistake, as it hampered national reconciliation efforts. They accused non-African countries of complicating the search for a solution, because of their delivery of weapons to some Libyan factions. The PJC accused the interim Government of doing nothing to put an end to insecurity. Reiterating his party’s rejection of extremism and terrorism as forms of political expression, the representative of the PJC asserted that the responsibility for the failure to launch the national dialogue lay with the NFA.

20. The Special Envoy also held separate talks with the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the National Dialogue, Fadil Lemine, and the Head of High National Electoral Commission, Emad Sayeh, who shed some light on the situation and the efforts made to resolve the crisis. They insisted on the urgency of implementing a disarmament and demobilization programme and of the initiation of a national dialogue. The issue of external interference in the Libyan crisis was also raised. They hoped for a strong involvement of the AU in the search for a solution.

21. With regard to the Tebu and Tuareg communities, their representatives affirmed that they were victims of political marginalization, adding that the positive role that these communities could play in securing the borders in the South of the country was not fully recognized. They accused some officials to have facilitated the establishment of foreign terrorist elements on Libyan soil. They also called for an end to foreign interference, which would only compound the situation.

22. In addition, the Special Envoy held telephone conversations with two major figures of the Libyan political scene, Mahmoud Djibril, leader of the NFA, and Mohamed Sawan, President of the JCP. These two personalities welcomed the AU’s efforts and called upon the Special Envoy to meet with them at the appropriate time to deepen those exchanges of views.

23. The Special Envoy also met with the Heads of the African Diplomatic Missions in Tripoli. The latter shared with him their analysis of the prevailing political and security situation in the country, expressing their commitment and their availability to support him in his mission.

24. The Special Envoy seized the opportunity of his participation in the 3rd ministerial meeting of the neighboring countries of Libya, in Hammamet, Tunisia, from 12 to 14 July 2014, to exchange views with the representatives of the countries of the region. Subsequently, he traveled to Egypt from 15 to 19 July 2014; to Algeria from 20 to 23 July 2014; to Niger from 24 to 26 July 2014; and to Chad on 27 August 2014. He has not yet been able to visit Sudan, as he is waiting for the Sudanese authorities to propose a date for the planned visit.

25. During his visits, the Special Envoy met with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Mr. Sameh Shoukry; Algeria, Ramtane Lamamra; Niger, Mohamed Bazoum; and Chad, Moussa Faki Mahamat. In Chad, he was received by President Idriss Déby Itno, while in Niamey, he also met the Prime Minister Rafini Brigi. The meetings with the Egyptian and Algerian interlocutors were an opportunity to exchange on the follow-up to the meeting held in Hammamet, particularly with regard to the actions then envisaged by Egypt and Algeria, which chair respectively the political affairs and security sub-Committees established by the neighboring countries of Libya. In this context, during his visit to Algeria, the Special Envoy met officials from the security services.

26. All the interlocutors of my Special Envoy expressed their countries’ support to the AU’s efforts. They stressed the need for a continued and strong involvement of Africa in the search for a solution to the crisis. The previous efforts of the AU led by the ad hoc High Level Committee within the framework of the Roadmap adopted by Council at its 265th meeting, held on 10 March 2011 [Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM. 2 (CCLXV)], were highlighted.

27. The other elements that emerged from these discussions can be summarized as follows:

(i) the gravity of the situation prevailing in Libya, which poses a real danger to the unity of this country and its long-term future, as well as to regional security and stability. The neighboring countries highlighted the challenges related to the monitoring of their shared borders with Libya, in a context marked by the collapse of the authority of the State of Libya and the worsening of the scourge of terrorism and transnational organized crime;

(ii) the short-term vision of some Libyan actors, who had taken advantage of the weakness of the institutions after the Revolution to enrich themselves, and are prepared to do everything to maintain their power and their wealth. From this point of view, the destruction of the Tripoli airport and several aircraft that were there in the wake of the attack launched by the militias of the operation "Dawn of the Libya", on 13 July 2014, is particularly significant;

(iii) the primary responsibility for a solution to the crisis facing the country lies with Libyans. The international community can and must play an important role, but it cannot substitute for the Libyan actors. The need to avoid foreign interference was also stressed;

(iv) the imperative need for national dialogue and the search for a consensus, which are necessary conditions for the lasting restoration of peace, security and stability in Libya. There is no military solution to the crisis. The proposed dialogue, as some interlocutors of the Special Envoy suggested, could begin with a meeting organized outside Libya, in a country which would be acceptable to the different Libyan actors;

(v) the imperative need for a lead role of Africa in support to the Libyan actors. Africa, in particular the neighboring countries, feels directly the impact of the crisis in Libya, and the thorough knowledge that the continent has of the situation makes it a well-positioned actor to assist in the search for a solution; and

(vi) the need for the rest of the international community to strongly support the African efforts and to avoid any attempt to circumvent them.

IV. EFFORTS OF THE COUNTRIES OF THE REGION

28. The countries of the region are actively involved in the efforts to address the prevailing situation in Libya. They have convened a number of meetings to review the situation and agree on practical steps to expedite the search for a lasting solution. The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union expressed its support for the efforts of the region.

29. The 1st ministerial consultative meeting of Libya’s neighbors took place in Algiers, in the margins of the 17th ministerial meeting of the Non?Aligned countries, held on 27 and 28 May 2014. I attended the meeting, which was chaired by the Foreign Minister of Algeria, Ramtane Lamamra. The participants expressed concern at the prevailing situation, calling on the Libyan stakeholders to put an end to all acts of violence, and to resolve their differences through dialogue. They agreed to put in place a joint mechanism of the neighboring countries, in coordination with the Arab League and the AU. The participants also stressed the importance of securing the borders with Libya, as well as enhancing cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. The 2nd meeting of Libya’s neighbors was convened in Malabo, in the margins of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly, with the participation of the Commissioner for Peace and Security.

30. The 3rd ministerial meeting of the neighboring countries took place in Hammamet Tunisia, on 13 and 14 July 2014. The AU was represented at the meeting by the Commissioner for Peace and Security and the Special Envoy for Libya. In the communiqué adopted at the end of the meeting, the neighboring countries called for the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, as well as for an immediate ceasefire. The Ministers also approved the creation of two Committees: the first one dealing with security issues, including border control and collection of heavy weapons, coordinated by Algeria; and the second one, dealing with political issues, coordinated by Egypt. They called on religious institutions to assume their responsibility by disseminating a message of moderation. Both the political and security Committees have already convened their inaugural meetings.

31. The 4th ministerial meeting of the neighboring countries of Libya was held in Cairo, on 25 August 2014, in the presence of the AU Special Envoy and my Special Representative and Head of the AU Liaison Office in Libya, Mondher Rezgui. The meeting reaffirmed the following principles: respect of the unity, sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Libya; non-interference in the internal affairs of Libya and preservation of its political independence, and commitment to inclusive dialogue, renunciation of violence and support to the political process. In a more specific manner, the meeting agreed to the following elements:

(i) an immediate end to all armed actions, in order to support the political process and enhance dialogue with the parties which reject violence, under the auspices of the Parliament;

(ii) the commitment of foreign actors to cease the supply of arms to non-legitimate actors, the tightening of border control at the different borders of Libya and the prohibition of the importation weapons, except at the request of the Libyan State and with the approval of the UN Sanctions Committee;

(iii) combating terrorism in all its forms, including through drying up its funding sources, and launching a campaign against organized crime and other illicit activities;

(iv) enhancing the role of the legitimate institutions of the State, particularly the House of Representatives, and rehabilitating the State structures, including the Army and the Police;

(v) support to the Libyan Government to ensure the control of its borders ; and

(vi) the adoption of punitive measures against individuals and groups undermining the political process.

32. As a follow-up to the conclusions of the meeting of the Political Committee chaired by Egypt, which took place in Cairo on 6 August 2014, a delegation of senior officials from the neighboring countries of Libya visited Tobruk, on 14 September 2014. The delegation met with the President of the House of Representatives, to lay the ground for a ministerial-level visit, as agreed in Cairo on 25 August 2014, and as well as for the launching of an inclusive Libyan inter-dialogue.

V. EFFORTS BY OTHER INTERNATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS

a) United Nations

33. A number of steps have been taken by the United Nations, including through the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL), to facilitate the cessation of hostilities and the launch of an inclusive political dialogue among the Libyan stakeholders. In this respect, mention should be made of the efforts to convene a meeting of Libyan stakeholders in mid-June 2014, which did not take place because of the objections of some of the Libyan stakeholders, as well as the consultations undertaken in early August 2014 with a number of political and military actors in an attempt to conclude an unconditional ceasefire. In early September 2014, the newly-appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Bernardino Leon, visited Tripoli, Tobruk, al-Baida (currently the seat of the Constitution Drafting Assembly), as well as Misrata and Zintan, where he had extensive exchanges with a variety of stakeholders. He seized the opportunity to stress that the solution to the Libya’s current crisis cannot be achieved through military means, but through political consensus. He expressed support for the elected House of Representatives, while at the same time underlying the importance of inclusiveness and addressing the concerns cited by the Parliamentarians who continue to absent themselves from the House’s proceedings.

34. In the meantime, on 17 July 2014, the UN Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the violence in Libya, welcoming the parliamentary elections of 25 June 2014, stressing the need for an inclusive dialogue as the only way to achieve a lasting political settlement, and welcoming the efforts of the neighboring countries to promote stability in Libya. On 27 August 2014, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2174 (2014), in which, inter alia, it called on all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire and an end to fighting; condemned the use of violence against civilians and civilian institutions, calling for those responsible to be held accountable; called on the House of Representatives and the Constitutional Drafting Assembly to carry out their tasks in a spirit of inclusiveness; and further called on all parties to engage in an inclusive Libyan-led political dialogue, in order to help restore stability and to forge consensus around the next steps in Libya’s transition. The Security Council also expressed its determination to hold accountable those undermining the country’s political process, or responsible for the continuation of armed conflict or for violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. The Security Council encouraged the Arab League, the AU and all those with influence on the parties, in particular neighboring and regional countries, to support an immediate cessation of hostilities and constructive engagement with an inclusive political dialogue.

b) League of Arab States

35. In addition to its active participation in the meetings of the neighbors of Libya, the League of Arab States has also taken a number of other steps to assist in the early resolution of the Libyan crisis. The situation is regularly discussed during the meetings of the League’s relevant policy organs. At its 142nd Ordinary Session, held in Cairo, on 7 September 2014, the Ministerial Council of the Arab League reiterated its commitment to the respect of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Libya, non-interference in the country’s internal affairs and preservation of its political independence. The Arab League called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and stressed the imperative of an inclusive political dialogue. It also expressed support for the efforts of the Libyan Government, including those aimed at building the capacity of the defense and security forces. The Special Envoy of the Arab League, Nacer Al Qudwa, visited Tripoli in July 2014, where he held extensive consultations with the Libyan stakeholders, including the Interim Prime Minister, the Vice-Chairman of the GNC, and representatives of the two main political blocks.

c) European Union

36. On 15 August 2014, the EU Foreign Affairs Council discussed the Libyan crisis. In the conclusions adopted following the meeting, the EU Council reiterated its condemnation of the increasing violence in Tripoli, Benghazi and elsewhere in the country, and it’s devastating effect on the lives of the civilian population. It expressed strong concern at the threat the prevailing situation represents for regional security and for the EU. The EU Council called on all parties involved in the hostilities to cease all violence immediately and to end the suffering of the civilian population. The EU Council expressed strong support for the ongoing efforts of UNSMIL, urging all sides to respond positively and without delay to these efforts, while also acknowledging the concerted efforts of the neighboring countries. The EU Council encouraged the House of Representatives to play its rightful role in leading efforts towards an inclusive political settlement.

d) Other efforts

37. On 24 July 2014, the Special Envoys for Libya of the Arab League, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States met with the UN in Brussels to discuss recent developments in Libya. In the statement they issued on that occasion, the Special Envoys, having expressed deep concern about the violence across the country and its humanitarian consequences, called for a ceasefire from all sides. They appealed to them to demonstrate willingness to compromise, and expressed the hope that all parties would agree to enter an inclusive political dialogue upon the conclusion of a ceasefire agreement. In this regard, they underlined the leading role to be played by the UN in reaching a ceasefire, in conjunction with the Libyan Government and other internal partners, with the full support of the international Envoys.


VI. OBSERVATIONS

38. I am deeply concerned by the evolution of the situation in Libya, marked by the continuation of the armed confrontation between armed groups and militias. I strongly condemn these acts of violence, which have claimed many lives and led to a senseless and massive destruction of property and infrastructure, as well as numerous violations of human rights, acts of intimidation and retaliatory attacks against individuals.

39. Clearly the current situation, if not quickly contained and resolved, has the potential of irremediably undermining the cohesion of the Libyan society and the very existence of the State, with far-reaching consequences for regional security and stability, especially given the growing threat of terrorism and transnational organized crime in the region. Against this backdrop, I wish to reiterate the AU’s urgent appeal to the Libyan stakeholders to put an immediate end to the current spiral of violence, refrain from any action likely to further exacerbate the situation and to work towards the fulfillment of the aspirations of the Libyan people to democracy, the rule of law and socio-economic wellbeing, as expressed during the popular revolt of February 2011.

40. The current crisis cannot be resolved through military means. Accordingly, no efforts should be spared to achieve a lasting cessation of hostilities between the warring parties and facilitate the initiation, in good faith and with the required spirit of mutual tolerance, of an inclusive dialogue to re-launch and complete the transition in Libya. Such dialogue should be based on the respect of the Constitutional Declaration, the commitment to democratic process, and the unequivocal rejection of terrorism. I welcome the recent efforts of the United Nations to engage the parties for a cessation of hostilities, so as to mitigate the sufferings of the civilian populations, especially in Tripoli and Benghazi.

41. I would like to reiterate the AU’s full support to the legitimate institutions in Libya, as represented by the interim Government and the House of Representatives elected on 25 June 2014, which is the sole legislative authority in the country. I also reiterate the AU’s full support to the Constitutional Drafting Assembly. I encourage its members to persevere in their efforts in order to complete in earnest the important task entrusted to them.

42. I call upon the Member States and the larger international community to extend concrete assistance to the Libyan State, as represented by its legitimate institutions, to enable it to take effective control of critical infrastructure and fully exercise its authority throughout the national territory. Equally important is the need for further assistance in the areas of institution-building, promotion of national dialogue and reconciliation, as well as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

43. It is important that the present meeting of Council send a clear message to all the actors responsible for the continuation of armed confrontation, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and undermining the political process, that they will be held accountable for their actions. I welcome the measures contained in Security Council resolution 2174 (2014).

44. I commend the countries of the region for their commitment and determination to help Libya to overcome the serious challenges facing it. In this respect, I note with satisfaction the outcomes of the various ministerial meetings of the neighboring countries of Libya and the efforts being made within the framework of the Political and Security Committees coordinated respectively by Egypt and Algeria. I urge Africa's international partners, including the United Nations, the EU and the bilateral partners, to fully support the efforts of the region, which shoulders the burden of the Libyan crisis and whose deep knowledge of the situation puts it in a position to effectively assist in the emergence of a consensus solution.

45. I renew the AU’s commitment to continue to work closely with the region and in coordination with the other concerned international actors, with a view to helping Libya, in the spirit of African solidarity, to overcome its current difficulties. I am encouraged by the recent productive consutations undertaken by my Special Envoy for Libya, Dileita Mohamed Dileita, during the visits he made to Libya, as well as to neighboring countries. I would like to seize this opportunity to express my appreciation to my Special Envoy for the dedication with which he is discharging his mandate.

46. It is critical that the AU step up its efforts in support of Libya and its people. The AU cannot do otherwise, as Libya is a full-fledged member of the African family. The fate of the Libyan people is inseparable from that of the rest of their African sisters and brothers, with whom they have historical ties. A stable and democratic Libya will be a tremendeous asset for the continent. Conversly, an unstable Libya will first and foremost affect its African neighbourhood and beyond. It was this conviction that informed the efforts deployed by the AU in 2011, with the establishment of the High-Level ad hoc Committee and the elaboration of a Roadmap to assist the Libyan people achieve their legitimate aspirations, as expressed during the popular upprising of February 2011.

47. Council may wish to consider the establishment of an AU High-Level Committee for Libya, comprized of Heads of State and Government and the Chairperson of the Commission. The main task of this Committee will be to mobilize additional support for the efforts of the countries of the region aimed at achieving an immediate cessation of hostilities and the early convening of political negotiations involving the Libyan stakeholders, in order to bring about lasting peace, security, stability and reconciliation in the country. The establishment of this Committee will ensure a high level involvement of the AU and bring in additional influence and authority.

48. Council may also wish to consider the establishment of an African-led International Contact Group for Libya, bringing together the relevant AU Member States and international partners. Such a Group would aim at facilitating international coordination and a harmonized approach, as well as the mobilization of the required support for the African and regional efforts aimed at addressing the crisis in Libya.

49. Given the regional security implications of the crisis in Libya, it is critical that the countries of the region enhance their efforts at security cooperation and collaboration. In this respect, I would like to emphasize the importance of the Nouakchott Process on the Enhancement of Security Cooperation and Operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahelo-Saharan Region, in addressing the various threats resulting from the prevailing situation in Libya, in particular the illicit proliferation of arms, terrorism and other forms of transnational organized crimes.

50. I am concerned by the prevailing humanitarian situation, including the forced displacement of civilians and the flow of refugees to neighboring countries and the fate of foreign migrants, particularly those from Africa. I commend the UN and other humanitarian agencies extending assistance to the affected populations.

51. As a result of the violence in Tripoli, the Commission, like other international organizations and diplomatic missions, was compelled to evacuate the staff of the AU Liaison Office in Tripoli. Pending the normalization of the situation. In order to ensure a close monitoring of the developments on the ground and facilitate interaction with the Libyan stakeholders, I intend to initiate consultations with the Tunisian authorities for the temporary relocation of the Office to Tunis. I would like to seize this opportunity to pay tribute to my Special Representative and Head of the Laision Office, as well as to the entire staff of the Office, for their hard work and contribution to the ongoing efforts in Libya.

Posted by Abraham Belayneh
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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