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NEW YORK, June 10 — Libya’s Permanent Delegate to UN Ibrahim Dabbashi has called on the international community to help rebuild the Libyan army and police forces, and bring to book those who try to hamper the country’s democratic transition.
The countries which claim to be friends of Libya have to offer the necessary military equipment and weaponry to the Libyan army and help the redeployment of the police forces to their stations countrywide, he said.
Ambassador Dabbashi made the comments at a debate by the Security Council on the situation in Libya in the aftermath of the ouster of Libya’s dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Tarek Mitri, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), briefed the Council on the latest developments in the country.
“The recent political and security instability put Libya’s democratic transition in great peril,” Dabbashi stressed.
He set out the urgent priorities that the Security Council and the UNSMIL should contribute to their realization; these include helping the government to rebuild and equip the national army and set the stage for the new parliamentary elections; demilitarizing the armed groups; and criminalizing all forms of unlawful arms displays.
Commenting on the campaign being launched by troops loyal to the dissident retired army general Khalifa Haftar against pro-government forces since mid-May, Ambassador Dabbashi said the 50,000-strong national army is determined to restore security and stability across the country.
“The government and the national army will never yield to blackmailing by some politicians and militant leaders who try to demonize the military and security forces and undermine the central authorities,” he vowed.
He commended the role of the UNSMIL in helping the Libyan people to overcome the challenges of the current stage and establish the rule of law, urging for more support to the international mission.
On his part, Mitri said: “The recent turmoil in Libya has not only slowed the pace of important aspects of the democratic transition but threatens to thrust the North African nation back into conflict and instability.
“There is a continuing sense of concern among the Libyan people regarding the prospect of a protracted conflict,” the UN envoy to Libya said in his briefing to the 15-member body.
“The crisis which has dominated the political scene for the past few months poses a threat to their country’s political transition,” he affirmed.
Libya has witnessed political tensions as well as significant security developments, particularly in the eastern part of the country, notably Benghazi city where Haftar tries to mobilize some units of the national army, as well as other tribally-affiliated armed elements, against groups he has labelled as terrorist.
Regarding these challenges, Mitri said he has redoubled his efforts to urge all parties in Libya to resolve the political impasse through peaceful means, and to impress upon them that a resort to the use of force will have disastrous consequences for the country.
“Following consultations with all concerned parties, I will be convening soon a meeting that brings representatives of the major actors, with the aim of forging an agreement on principles of political interaction, national priorities during the remainder of the transition, and on ways of addressing immediate security, and otherwise divisive, issues,” he stated.
“The stakes are high, and we will spare no effort in helping prevent Libya’s descent into greater instability and violence.” Notwithstanding the political and security crisis that has engulfed Libya, the constitutional process has made considerable progress since March, the UN envoy noted.
In addition, the country’s election commission is preparing, with UN technical support, the election of the 200-member Council of Representatives that will succeed the General National Congress. There are 1.5 million voters registered for the 25 June polls.
Meanwhile, the security situation continues to impede the proper functioning of the justice system, and has slowed the pace of security sector rebuilding.