The political stalemate continues in Libya and prospects for elections are dim, the head of the UN Mission to the country stated on Monday in his first briefing to the Security Council.
Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily arrived in the country this month and has been prioritizing consultations with political, institutional, security and civil society representatives, in a bid to address these challenges.
“The situation in Libya calls for a consensus State re-legitimation process. Legitimate institutions capable of providing for the basic needs of the people must be established on the basis of a genuine political will. In this process, the conduct of legislative and presidential elections is paramount,” he said.
Libya has been divided between two rival administrations for more than a decade, following the overthrow and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The Government of National Accord (GNA) is based in the capital, Tripoli, located in the west, while the rival Libyan National Army (LNA) controls the east.
The signing of a UN-brokered ceasefire in October 2020 paved the way for long-awaited elections in December 2021, which were postponed due to disagreement over the legal basis for the vote.
This past August, deadly clashes between the two sides rocked Tripoli.
The crisis was triggered in March, after the eastern parliament selected a new government. However, the UN and internationally backed Prime Minister, refused to stand down.
“The political deadlock persists with no clear end in sight to the prolonged stalemate over the executive,” Mr. Bathily told the UN Council.
“Efforts to resolve the remaining outstanding issues related to the constitutional basis for elections, do not appear to lead to concrete action by the relevant actors, further delaying prospects for the holding of inclusive, free and fair elections aimed at ending the transition and reinstating the legitimacy of institutions,” he added.
Although the ceasefire continues to hold, the political impasse has adversely impacted action on security.
The violent clashes in Tripoli caused a shift in the power balance in the capital, and deepened tensions, resulting in a fragile stability.
“Despite the noticeable decrease in mobilization of armed groups and clashes among them, there are reports of ongoing large-scale recruitment activities,” Bathily reported.
On a positive note, the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC), which brings together representatives from the two sides, will meet next week in Sirte to discuss activities to further ceasefire implementation.