The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 739thmeeting held on 8 December 2017, received a briefing on the situation in Libya.

Council took note of the briefing made by Amb. Mokiemo Jean Felix, Special Envoy of the Chair of the AU High-Level Committee on Libya, His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso, on the situation in Libya.  Council also took note of the briefing made by Madam Wahida Ayari, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Libya and Head of the Liaison Office. Council further took note of the statements made by Algeria, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU). 

Council recalled the Press Statement of its 719th meeting held on 14 September 2017, the Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR. (DCCIII)] adopted at its 703rd meeting held on 20 July 2017 and Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM. (CDXLII) adopted at its 642nd meeting held on 6 December 2016, as well as Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCIV) adopted at its 604th meeting, held on 9 June 2016. Council further recalled the decision of the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Kigali, Rwanda, in July 2016, reiterating the commitment of the AU to assist the Libyan parties in finding a lasting solution to the crisis in Libya, as well as the decision of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Addis Ababa, from 3 to 4 July 2017, urging the Libyan parties to overcome their political differences.

Council expressed its dismay at the reported inhuman treatments that African migrants are suffering in parts of Libya. In this respect, Council endorsed the press statement issued by the Chairperson of the Commission on 20 November 2017, in which he expressed AU profound concern over the despicable conditions of migrants in Libya, and stressed that an investigation should be carried out by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on the matter. Council, in particular, welcomed the efforts jointly undertaken with the European Union and the United Nations, to address the plight of the African migrants in Libya, through the establishment of the Joint AU-EU-UN Task Force, that convened its first meeting at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, on 4 December 2017, under the chairmanship of the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Madam Amira el-Fadil. 

Council urged the Chairperson of the Commission, working closely with member States and relevant partners to ensure that necessary steps are taken with a view to expedite the voluntary repatriation of African migrants.  Council urged all Member States to contribute to these efforts.

Council expressed appreciation to Member States that have already pledged logistical support and to Rwanda for offering to host migrants to be relocated from Libya, in the framework of African solidarity.

Council reiterated its concern at the persisting humanitarian and security situation prevailing in Libya. In this respect, Council strongly condemned all kinds of violence perpetrated against civilians, including migrants, as well as at the continued divisions among Libyans that prevent the country from having normal and a unified State institutional architecture. Council noted with deep concern that terrorists and criminal groups, as well as militias, are still hampering the peace process in Libya.  

Council once again reaffirmed the imperative need for the respect for human rights and dignity, and called upon all concerned to work towards dialogue and reconciliation in Libya.

Council also reiterated its conviction that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya, and welcomed the continued efforts deployed by the AU, through the High Level Committee on Libya, under the chairmanship of H.E. President Sassou Nguesso of Congo aimed at promoting dialogue and reconciliation among all Libyan stakeholders.  In this respect, Council also welcomed the steps already taken to implement the Roadmap outlined by the 4th meeting of the High-Level Committee held in Brazzaville on 9 September 2017, with the participation of both Dialogue Committees of the High State Council and the House of Representatives. Council took note in particular of the efforts being deployed to assist the Libyan parties to overcome their differences with regard to the amendments of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), signed in Skhirat, in December 2015.  In this regard, Council stressed the need to expedite the conclusion of an agreement on the modalities and the substance of Articles of the LPA to be amended and requested once again the Commission to work towards the full implementation of the Roadmap, on the basis of the time-line contained therein, noting that the deadline of 17 December 2017, as set in the LPA, will not be met.

Council reiterated its appreciation to the Chair of the High Level Committee, H.E. President   Sassou Nguesso of Congo, for his tireless efforts towards finding a lasting solution to the crisis in Libya.  Council also commended the AU High Representative for Libya, President Jakaya Kikwete, for his commitment to the Libyan peace process.

Council welcomed the efforts exerted by the Neighbouring Countries of Libya, particularly to facilitate and host meetings of the different Libyan political, military and tribal stakeholders, in support to the AU/UN efforts to address the situation in Libya.

Council further welcomed the efforts being deployed by the UN, in particular by the new Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Ghassam Salame.  Council reiterated the need for the entire international community to work closely together with a view to end the suffering of the Libya people.  Council also reiterated its appreciation to the Quartet and called on its members to mobilize the necessary international support in line with the joint AU/UN efforts in Libya, including towards the inter-Libyan dialogue aimed at promoting reconciliation in the country.

Council reaffirmed the central role that the AU should to play in the search for a lasting solution to the situation in Libya, through the High-Level Committee and the AU High Representative. 

Council looked forward to the convening of the 5th session of the AU High-Level Committee, as well as to the upcoming meeting of the Quartet, in Addis-Ababa, in January 2018, in the margins of the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly. 

Council agreed to remain seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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