UN / LIBYA

21-May-2019 00:02:41
UN Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salamé said the country was “on the verge of descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country” adding that damage already done would “take years to mend, and that’s only if the war is ended now.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / LIBYA
TRT: 2:41
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 21 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
RECENT - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

21 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, delegates
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“Forty-eight days into the attack on Tripoli by General Haftar’s forces, there has already been too much death and destruction. Libya is on the verge of descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country. The damage already done will take years to mend, and that’s only if the war is ended now.”
5. Med shot, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“Mr. President, I am no Cassandra, but the violence on the outskirts of Tripoli is just the start of a long and bloody war on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, imperilling the security of Libya’s immediate neighbours and the wider Mediterranean region. The security vacuum created by the withdrawal of many of General Haftar’s troops from the south, coupled with the focus of the western forces on the defence of the capital, is already being exploited by Da’esh and Al-Qaeda.”
7. Med shot, delegates
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“Without a robust enforcement mechanism, the arms embargo into Libya will become a cynical joke. Some nations are fuelling this bloody conflict; the United Nations should put an end to it.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Smail Chergui, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security:
“There is a need to acknowledge that there is an unprecedented, toxic external interference in Libya. These interferences have flooded the country with weapons which has created a conducive environment for terrorist groups to thrive. These interferences are exacerbating the already volatile situation on the ground. In this regard, we call on all actors to work in the genuine interest of the Libyan people and respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Libya.”
11. Med shot, Salamé at Security Council meeting
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Elmahdi S. Elmajerbi, Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations:
“The National Accord Government believes that the Security Council faces an historic responsibility set the path and correct the situation. Moreover, the Council is call upon more than ever to go beyond expressing concern and to shoulder its responsibility in implementing its resolutions; and calling this by their names by condemning the aggressor and compelling his forces to retreat to their positions prior to the attack.”
13. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salamé said the country was “on the verge of descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country” adding that damage already done would “take years to mend, and that’s only if the war is ended now.”

Addressing the Security Council in New York today (21 May), Salamé said “Forty-eight days into the attack on Tripoli by General Haftar’s forces, there has already been too much death and destruction,” with more than 460 people dead, 2400 injured, and over 75,000 displaced.

The Special Representative added that the conditions for migrants and refugees in Libya were already dire prior to the conflict. These conditions have now gone from bad to worse. Nearly 3,400 refugees and migrants are trapped in detention centres exposed to, or in close proximity to, the current fighting.

Salamé noted that the security vacuum created by the withdrawal of many of General Haftar’s troops from the south, coupled with the focus of the western forces on the defense of the capital, is already being “exploited by Da’esh and Al-Qaeda.” He said, “I am no Cassandra, but the violence on the outskirts of Tripoli is just the start of a long and bloody war on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, imperilling the security of Libya’s immediate neighbours and the wider Mediterranean region.”

The Special Representative requested that the Security Council members urge the silencing of the guns and that the warring parties to engage with the UN Mission to ensure a full and comprehensive cessation of hostilities and a return to an inclusive UN-led political process.

He underlined that arms were pouring into the country to all sides in a blatant breach of the arms embargo, adding that “Without a robust enforcement mechanism, the arms embargo into Libya will become a cynical joke. Some nations are fuelling this bloody conflict; the United Nations should put an end to it.”

African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, said the AU remained convinced that there was no military solution to the crisis and therefore reiterated its call for dialogue and consensus among Libyans as the only lasting solution for a stable and united Libya. He said Libya was deteriorating at an alarming rate adding that the current situation also had devastating effects on African migrants in the country.

Chergui added, “There is a need to acknowledge that there is an unprecedented, toxic external interference in Libya. These interferences have flooded the country with weapons which has created a conducive environment for terrorist groups to thrive. These interferences are exacerbating the already volatile situation on the ground. In this regard, we call on all actors to work in the genuine interest of the Libyan people and respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Libya.”
Libyan ambassador Elmahdi Elmajerbi said at a time when Libyans started feeling optimistic for a better future and while the UN Secretary-General was visiting Libya, General Haftar carried out his assault on the Libyan Capital Tripoli whose force, he said, continue to carry out violations that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Elmajerbi added, “The National Accord Government believes that the Security Council faces an historic responsibility set the path and correct the situation. Moreover, the Council is call upon more than ever to go beyond expressing concern and to shoulder its responsibility in implementing its resolutions; and calling this by their names by condemning the aggressor and compelling his forces to retreat to their positions prior to the attack.”
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