The Libyan conflit is at a critical juncture [fr]
Statement by Ms. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargée d’Affaires a.i.
Emergency meeting of the Security Council - 10 August 2019
I thank you, Madam President, for convening this meeting at France’s request. I also thank Ms. Bintou Keita for her briefing. It was essential for the Security Council to meet today in an emergency meeting given the developments in Libya over the past few hours. The Libyan conflict is indeed at a critical juncture.
My thoughts go out, first and foremost, to the personnel of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) who were victims of an attack on a Mission convoy to Benghazi, which, as Ms. Keita indicated, killed three and injured at least two Mission personnel. France condemns that attack in the strongest terms and extends its condolences to the families and relatives of the victims. France demands an immediate investigation of the circumstances surrounding the events and calls for the parties responsible to be held accountable.
In these tragic circumstances, I reiterate France’s firm support for the Special Representative and staff of UNSMIL, who work tirelessly work for peace in a very difficult and dangerous context.
1/ France welcomes the truce accepted today by both sides, which represents an important first step to alleviate the suffering of the Libyan people and create the conditions to move towards a lasting political solution allowing Libya to restore peace and stability.
We met here on the 29 July to call on the Libyan parties to work with the Special Representative to strike a truce for Eid Al-Adha. We reiterated this call in our press statement of 5 August and expressed the unanimous support of the Security Council for the efforts of Ghassan Salamé. Since then, France, like many of its partners and, naturally, Special Representative of the Secretary General Ghassan Salamé, has worked tirelessly with the parties to persuade them to commit to today’s truce.
We call on the Libyan National Army and the Government of National Accord to uphold this truce across Libya in the long term so that the discussions necessary to going even further can be held. There is and can be no military solution to the crisis, and continued fighting would benefit only criminals and terrorists. This truce is therefore essential to prevent any further deterioration in the situation, to allow civilians to leave conflict areas and to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in urgent need.
2/ The truce must be accompanied by confidence-building measures aimed at laying the groundwork for a lasting ceasefire based on credible guarantees.
The solution lies exclusively in the implementation of a lasting ceasefire, as part of a resumed political process under the auspices of the Special Representative. This conclusion is shared by Council members, and we must join together to achieve it.
France calls on the Libyan parties to resume talks on this basis, under the auspices of the Special Representative, so as to swiftly forge the elements of an agreement that addresses the concerns of all parties and, above all, the expectations of the of the Libyan population, based on the principles agreed in Paris, Palermo and Abu Dhabi.
These parameters must be based on security and economic reforms that prioritize the swift implementation of transparent governance in the Central Bank, reformed management of oil revenue and the unification of financialand security institutions for the good of all Libyans. They must be complemented by robust security provisions supported by respect for Security Council, especially with respect to the arms embargo.
We strongly urge all parties to seize the opportunity provided by the truce to move towards a comprehensive political solution, as the Council has always called for. In this regard, we support the principles of the press statement proposed by the United Kingdom.
I express my thanks once again and wish a happy Eid to all those who are celebrating it.