UN / LIBYA

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08-Jul-2020 00:02:56
Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council that, with battle lines shifting, foreign interference growing, thousands fleeing their homes and COVID-19 cases on the rise, time is running out for bringing a peaceful end to the conflict in Libya. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / LIBYA
TRT: 02:56
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

08 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Time is not on our side in Libya. The conflict has entered a new phase with foreign interference reaching unprecedented levels, including in the delivery of sophisticated equipment and the number of mercenaries involved in the fighting.”
4. Multiple screens
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“As tensions simmer in central Libya, the United Nations has continued to engage with the parties to prevent the conflict from spreading to Libya’s Oil Crescent region, from which the country derives sixty percent of the oil resources. The current blockade has already cost over six billion dollars in lost revenues, damaged oil infrastructure and created the conditions for an historically high budget deficit of over 50 per cent of Libya’s GDP.”
6. Multiple screens
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“In this gloomy context, all opportunities to unblock the political stalemate must be seized. De-escalation efforts, including the creation of a possible demilitarized zone, are being undertaken by UNSMIL to reach a negotiated solution and spare lives. The political situation in eastern Libya has registered some movements indicating renewed support for a political solution to the conflict, as seen in the 23 May initiative by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 6 June Cairo Declaration. The GNA has also been calling for national elections as a solution to the crisis. Yet, these openings are fragile given that parties’ positions continue to be determined by military developments and support from external backers.”
8. Multiple screens
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Heiko Maas, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Germany:
“While doctors and patients on all continents were fighting to save human lives, hospitals in Libya were being bombed. While the whole world closed its borders and went into lockdown, ships, planes, and trucks with weapons and mercenaries kept arriving in Libyan cities. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to stop this cynical absurdity.”
10. Multiple screens
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Kelly Craft, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, United States:
“Let me be clear: there is no place for foreign mercenaries or proxy forces in Libya, including – as evidence makes clear – Russian government proxies fighting alongside and in support of LNA forces. The situations in Sirte and Al Jufra remain of grave concern, and we should not underestimate the significance of these places for the control of Libya’s oil crescent.”
14. Multiple screens

STORYLINE:

Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council that, with battle lines shifting, foreign interference growing, thousands fleeing their homes and COVID-19 cases on the rise, time is running out for bringing a peaceful end to the conflict in Libya.

Briefing the Security Council today (8 Jul), the UN chief said, “time is not on our side in Libya. The conflict has entered a new phase with foreign interference reaching unprecedented levels, including in the delivery of sophisticated equipment and the number of mercenaries involved in the fighting.”

Guterres said, “as tensions simmer in central Libya, the United Nations has continued to engage with the parties to prevent the conflict from spreading to Libya’s Oil Crescent region, from which the country derives sixty percent of the oil resources.”

The current blockade, he added, “has already cost over six billion dollars in lost revenues, damaged oil infrastructure and created the conditions for an historically high budget deficit of over 50 per cent of Libya’s GDP.”

Describing the context in Libya as “gloomy,” the Secretary-General urged the international community to seize every opportunity to unblock the political stalemate.

He said, “de-escalation efforts, including the creation of a possible demilitarized zone, are being undertaken by UNSMIL to reach a negotiated solution and spare lives. The political situation in eastern Libya has registered some movements indicating renewed support for a political solution to the conflict, as seen in the 23 May initiative by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 6 June Cairo Declaration. The GNA has also been calling for national elections as a solution to the crisis.”

Yet, he added, “these openings are fragile given that parties’ positions continue to be determined by military developments and support from external backers.”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, “while doctors and patients on all continents were fighting to save human lives, hospitals in Libya were being bombed. While the whole world closed its borders and went into lockdown, ships, planes, and trucks with weapons and mercenaries kept arriving in Libyan cities. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to stop this cynical absurdity.”

Germany holds the presidency of the Council for the month of July and convened today’s meeting.

For her part, United States Ambassador Kelly Craft said, “let me be clear: there is no place for foreign mercenaries or proxy forces in Libya, including – as evidence makes clear – Russian government proxies fighting alongside and in support of LNA forces. The situations in Sirte and Al Jufra remain of grave concern, and we should not underestimate the significance of these places for the control of Libya’s oil crescent.”

Between 1 April and 30 June, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) document at least 356 casualties, including 102 civilian deaths and 254 civilian injuries – a 172 per cent increase compared to the January-to-March period.

COVID-19 is a cause of growing concern in Libya, with a seven-fold leap in cases in June alone that brought the total number of confirmed cases to 1,046, with 32 deaths.
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