Tunis- Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in declarations made to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper undermined the importance of media and political information leaked on thousands of French, Italian, British, American, and Egyptian military men in Libya, in preparation for a comprehensive war against ISIS militias and other armed organizations.
Kobler, on the sidelines of attending the foreign ministers from Libya’s six neighboring states meeting in Tunis, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the people of Libya can support the Libyan unity government which has been established at the Libyan negotiations in Skhirat, Morocco. The Government of National Accord was launched after a series of political deliberations in Algeria, Tunisia, Rome and Geneva.
U.N. Representative Kobler confirmed that the U.N. Security Council, regional and international institutions including the African Union and the League of Arab States (LAS) have all reaffirmed their commitment to supporting political settlement and the restoration of stability in Libya. The international commitment will spare the people of Libya military escalation and the international community mobilizing to impose U.N. resolutions, which includes handing over Libyan authority offices and institutions to the party led by Fayez Serraj. All that translates into renouncing all powers vested in each of the governments at Tobruk and Tripoli, and all nearby institutions.
As for ruling out foreign military intervention from Libya, especially with increased presence of ISIS and other extremist militias, Kobler said that any counterterrorism military action in Libya has to be founded on a request by the unity government led by Fayez Serraj and international laws.
He denoted that the U.N. resolution 1973, issued on March 2011, stipulates an air-ban on Libya in addition to the permitted usage force, according to the 7th chapter of the U.N. charter, is still in effect.
Kobler observed how terror groups, meanwhile, are continuing to take advantage of political divisions, with grave consequences for the Libyan people and neighboring countries and for the serious humanitarian crisis in several areas of Libya.
The UN envoy said it is indispensable for Libyan political actors to take responsibility in the interest of the Libyan population to stop human suffering and chaos.
Kobler nonetheless expressed confidence that the Presidency would go as soon as it could to Tripoli. “It is a question of days not weeks,” he predicted.
The UN Special Envoy believed, however, that “the overwhelming majority” of Libyans – he put the figure at 80 percent – already supported the GNA. They are driven with the crisis, salaries not paid, electricity cuts, deteriorating economy, and a heath care service that didn’t work.
There had been enough meetings and talks, he said, noting that the meeting of Libya’s neighbors was their eighth. It was time for action, Kobler insisted. “We need to be practical . . . we must implement and react. There must be the immediate transfer of power to the GNA.”
When asked if General Khalifa Hafter had a role in the Libyan settlement, the U.N. representative said that it was for the government to decide who does what, but nonetheless people from all over Libya – east, west and south – had to be part of the solution, Hafter included. “We need to include all the stakeholders in the country”, he said.
Besides Kobler, the meeting was attended by Presidency Council head, prime minister-designate Faiez Serraj, who addressed the ministers. Also present were African Union Special Envoy to Libya, former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete, the Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby and European Union deputy foreign affairs chief Helga Schmid.