09:48 GMT +324 February 2017
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    UN diplomat delivers sobering report on Libya

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    A report by the UN special envoy to Libya has fueled concerns among UN diplomats over the effectiveness of the UN efforts to stabilize the situation in the country.

    A report by the UN special envoy to Libya has fueled concerns among UN diplomats over the effectiveness of the UN efforts to stabilize the situation in the country.

    Ian Martin, who heads the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL), briefed members of the 15-country Security Council via video-link on Thursday that the political situation and the security conditions in the war-torn country remained worrisome.

    Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin called Martin’s report “open and sobering.”

    “The situation [in Libya] is far from stable, there are many security concerns, the fighting is still on, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have been registered,” Churkin told reporters after a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council.

    “The Libyan authorities clearly need support, an effective UN mission, and that is where the Security Council will concentrate its efforts in the next few months,” Churkin said.

    Key areas of the UN support to new Libyan authorities include the assistance in drafting constitution and organizing elections, the delivery of humanitarian aid, and the disbursement of unfrozen Libyan funds.

    The UNSMIL was set up by the UN Security Council on September 17 with an initial period of three months to help restore public security and initiate economic recovery in the North African country.

    Libyan rebels started a six-month military campaign, assisted by NATO, against the Gaddafi regime in mid-February. The international NATO-led military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution on "targeted measures" to protect civilians.

    Following months of fierce fighting that claimed hundreds of lives, the Libyan Transitional National Council has established control over most of the country’s territory, including the capital of Tripoli.

    Gaddafi loyalists, however, still maintain control of several Libyan towns, including Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte, which has been a site of heavy fighting for the past few weeks.

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