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Libya: Bathily calls on neighbouring countries to help withdraw foreign fighters

February 4, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Prime Minister of Libya Abdulhamid Dibeybe speaks during ministers cabinet meeting in Tripoli, Libya [Libyan Government of National Unity – Anadolu Agency]

Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Abdoulaye Bathily on Friday called on neighbouring countries to raise their support for the mission and the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) to implement the plan to withdraw foreign fighters.

This came during his meeting with Ambassador of Sudan Ibrahim Mohamed Ahmad, Nigerian Ambassador Essiq IG Gato and Chargé d’Affaires of Chad Bashir Tribo Abboud at the mission’s Tripoli headquarters, according to a series of tweets Bathily published on Twitter.

“We compared notes on the ongoing crisis in Libya, including on the security dynamics in the sub-region,” Bathily wrote.

He continued: “I expressed the need for neighbouring countries to maximise support for UNSMIL and the 5+5 JMC’s efforts in implementing the relevant action plan around the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries.”

The UN envoy shared that the ambassadors affirmed: “Their support for Libya in this regard. Solidarity and concerted actions are required to build stability and peace in Libya and further regional integration.”

On 15 January, the 5+5 JMC, which consists of the parties to the Libyan military conflict representing the east and west of the country, discussed several subjects during a meeting in the city of Sirte after a pause that lasted six months.

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The meeting Bathily attended discussed the completion of the terms of the ceasefire agreement signed in Geneva in October 2020 between the warring parties to the Libyan conflict after a Turkiye-Russia initiative.

They also discussed the mission of international and local observers of the ceasefire and what was previously reached in the file of unifying the military institution, in addition to the file of deporting mercenaries and foreign forces.

Parallel to the military dialogue, the UN is leading a political settlement initiative in Libya through a committee from the Libyan House of Representatives and the High Council of State. This committee started negotiations to agree on a constitutional basis, based on which elections will be held as soon as possible.

Since March 2022, two governments have been fighting in Libya. The first is headed by Fathi Bashagha, appointed by the Libyan House of Representatives. The second, the Government of National Unity led by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, refuses to hand over power except to a government assigned by a newly elected parliament.

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