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UN: Initial group of ceasefire monitors will be in Libya soon

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres holds a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on 1 August, 2019 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres holds a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on 1 August 2019 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres yesterday announced that "the initial group of UN ceasefire monitors will be deployed to Tripoli soon."

Speaking at the opening of the Berlin II Conference on Libya, which is currently being held in the German capital, the UN chief indicated that "much progress has been made since the Berlin I Conference, in January 2020, and we are here today to build on that progress through the full implementation of the political roadmap adopted by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, the Ceasefire Agreement of October 2020, and the relevant Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2570 on monitoring of the ceasefire and holding the presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2021."

"The United Nations is committed to supporting the Libyan Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism. The initial group of UN ceasefire monitors will be deployed to Tripoli soon," he added, without giving a specific date.

Guterres urged Libyan and external parties to "agree on a comprehensive plan, with clear timelines for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya," confirming that the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is fully ready to support this endeavour.

"Improving security for ordinary Libyans will greatly contribute to further progress on the political track. Building confidence and trust is key," he added.

Guterres stressed that holding the elections on schedule requires taking urgent actions, including defining the constitutional basis for the elections, adopting the necessary legislation and providing financial resources to the High National Elections Commission.

READ: What can we expect from the Berlin II international conference on Libya?

He expressed deep concern over the serious and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya, noting that "some 1.3 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance, an increase of 400,000 since last year."

He also called on the Libyan government to "urgently take all necessary measures to protect detainees and thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers from violence and ensure accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations."

In January 2020, Berlin hosted a conference to reach a solution to the Libyan conflict.

The outcomes of the conference stressed the need to respect the arms embargo and push the warring parties to reach a comprehensive ceasefire.

For months, the oil-rich country has been witnessing a political breakthrough, as an elected interim authority comprising a government of national unity and a presidential council assumed its duties on 16 March, to lead the country to parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December.

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