Libya has initiated a democratic transition since the popular uprising of 2011. But despite taking important steps such as the organization of elections in 2012, the country has faced a critical political and security crisis with the establishment of two competing governments and parliaments. The country is separated between the West and the East.
In December 2015, the UN mediation conducted by the Special Representative of the United Nations resulted in the signature of an inter-Libyan peace agreement in Skhirat (Marocco). This agreement set up a Presidential Council, directed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, mandated to constitute a government of national accord. It also plans for a transition period in towards an inclusive reconciliation. But since the implementation of the government of national accord in December 2015, few progresses have been made between the different parties.
In parallel, the security situation in Libya has seriously deteriorated in the past few months, specifically due to the escalation of combats between Libyan armed groups, the expansion of terrorist threat and the development of different traffics.
Strengthening the Libyan State’s capacities and the national reconciliation is crucial to fight the terrorist threat effectively, to dismantle human trafficking networks and to improve the humanitarian situation in the country.
In this context, and in support of the mediation led by the UN, on 25 July 2017 France hosted in La Celle-Saint-Cloud a conference meeting with the President of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord, Fayez Sarraj, and the Commander in Chief of the National Libyan Army, Khalifa Hafter. The purpose of this meeting was to relaunch cooperation and improve the stability, security and unity in Libya.
In 2012, the United Nations launched a support mission (MANUL) whose mandate is centered on the political process (political dialogue and constitutional process). This mission also supports the reinforcement of the rule of law, governance and security. Its mandate has been recently renewed for a year (résolution 2376(2017)).
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations plays a key facilitating role between Libyan actors towards an inclusive resolution of the Libyan crisis. Since June 2017, Ghassan Salamé fulfils this duty.
- Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the UN in Libya and Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General - 17 November 2019
- © UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Thanks to this mediation effort, peace talks have resulted in the inter-Libyan peace agreement of Skhirat (Morocco) in December 2015. The UN Security Council supported this agreement through the adoption of resolution 2259.
Since starting his role this year, the new Special Representative has met with Libyan, regional and international actors. In September 2017 during the General Assembly of the United Nations, Ghassan Salamé presented his roadmap to launch new political efforts in Libya. This roadmap was then endorsed by a Presidential Statement on 10 October 2017 which underlines the Security Council’s support to the work of the Special Representative.
Ghassan Salamé insisted on two key steps in this process: first, the adoption of relevant amendments to the Skhirat agreement, due to be renewed on 17 December 2017, in order to make institutions more efficient and to ensure a better representation of the different political actors; second, the organization of a “national conference of reconciliation”, to be held shortly, in order to prepare for an institutional restart and to define the framework of new elections in Libya.
Furthermore, since 2011, thanks to the adoption of resolutions 1970 and1973, the Security Council has also set up a sanctions regime and an embargo on weapons to limit illicit flaws of arms in the country, exploitation and exportation of oil and derived products through parallel channels outside the Libyan State, and migrants trafficking, which feeds instability and benefits Daesh and other terrorist groups. This Security Council’s sanctions regime has been widen in 2014 to include individuals threatening the inter-Libyan political dialogue.
In parallel, the European Union has deployed its operation EUNAVFOR Sophia
in order to contribute to the implementation of the arm embargo and fight against migrants trafficking at sea, off the coast of Libya.
In order to support of the UN mediation, President Emmanuel Macron took the initiative to invite the President of the Presidential Council of National Accord, Fayez Sarraj and the Commander of the National Libyan Army, General Khalifa Hafter on 25 July 2017, at La Celle Saint-Cloud. This initiative aimed at restarting a dialogue between parties, in the continuity of international efforts and previous regional initiatives.
It was a new important step in the resolution process: the two main Libyan political actors committed to work together to fight terrorism and to progress on the path towards national reconciliation.
- French President, Emmanuel Macron, with the Chairman of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord, Fayez Al Sarraj, and the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar in La Celle Saint-Cloud, 25 July 2017
Following the meeting of La Celle Saint-Cloud, the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Libya on 4 September 2017 and met with the two main political actors, Fayez Sarraj and Khalifa Hafter, who reaffirmed their commitment to respect the declaration of 25 July 2017.