UN / LIBYA

19-May-2020 00:03:09
The Acting UN's Special Representative for Libya, Stephanie Williams, told the Security Council that despite the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate ceasefire to allow Libyans to respond to the threat of COVID-19 “there has been no lull in the fighting between the Government of National Accord forces and General Haftar’s “Libyan National Army,” and instead, “fighting has escalated with an unprecedented increase in indirect fire in urban areas and a growing tide of suffering for civilians.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / LIBYA
TRT: 03:09
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 19 MAY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

19 MAY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

2. Multiple screens, participants
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya:
“I regret to report that there has been no lull in the fighting between the Government of National Accord forces and General Haftar’s “Libyan National Army,” also known as the “Libyan Arab Armed Forces” (LAAF.) Instead, fighting has escalated with an unprecedented increase in indirect fire in urban areas and a growing tide of suffering for civilians.”
4. Multiple screens, participants
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya:
“While people around the world are adjusting to the new normal of living with a global pandemic, millions of Libyans –most notably the two million residents of Tripoli –are experiencing a most abnormal and terrifying existence, under almost constant bombardment, frequent water and electricity cuts and compounded by restricted movement as a result of preventive COVID-19 measures, rendering the whole situation unbearable for the majority to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in peace.”
6. Multiple screens, participants
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya:
“The fighting, compounded with COVID-19 and the on-going oil blockade, pose an unprecedented challenge to the already fraught socio-economic situation in Libya. The blockade itself has already cost Libya over four billion dollars. With a looming budget deficit of 26 billion dinars in 2020, the Central Bank of Libya has imposed austerity measures including limits on foreign exchange. All of this has led to a loss of income, food shortages and price spikes, including supply chain disruptions.”
8. Multiple screens, participants
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya:
“As we survey the carnage wrought by almost 15 months of unrelenting violence in Libya, I believe we have a reached another turning point in the conflict. From what we are witnessing in terms of the massive influx of weaponry, equipment and mercenaries to the two sides, the only conclusion that we can draw is that this war will intensify, broaden and deepen with devastating consequences for the Libyan people.”
10. Multiple screens, participants
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Taher Elsonni, Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations:
“It should be clear now to all that the war criminal’s illusion has come to an end and became something from the past, and those who have been betting on him have lost their bet. And he is the one who pulled himself out of any dialogue or peaceful solutions. That’s why we call on all those who got involved with this war criminal to put down their weapons and surrender, and side by our nation, so we can end this cycle of conflict and sit for dialogue and reconciliation and discuss the day after Haftar.”
12. Multiple screens, participants
STORYLINE
The UN's Acting Special Representative for Libya, Stephanie Williams, today (19 May) told the Security Council that despite the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate ceasefire to allow Libyans to respond to the threat of COVID-19 “there has been no lull in the fighting between the Government of National Accord forces and General Haftar’s “Libyan National Army,” and instead, “fighting has escalated with an unprecedented increase in indirect fire in urban areas and a growing tide of suffering for civilians.”

Williams said, “while people around the world are adjusting to the new normal of living with a global pandemic, millions of Libyans –most notably the two million residents of Tripoli –are experiencing a most abnormal and terrifying existence, under almost constant bombardment, frequent water and electricity cuts and compounded by restricted movement as a result of preventive COVID-19 measures, rendering the whole situation unbearable for the majority to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in peace.”

The Acting Special Representative said, “the fighting, compounded with COVID-19 and the on-going oil blockade, pose an unprecedented challenge to the already fraught socio-economic situation in Libya.”

This, she said, “has led to a loss of income, food shortages and price spikes, including supply chain disruptions.”

Williams concluded her intervention, delivered via video teleconference, by saying that “we have a reached another turning point in the conflict.”

She said, “from what we are witnessing in terms of the massive influx of weaponry, equipment and mercenaries to the two sides, the only conclusion that we can draw is that this war will intensify, broaden and deepen with devastating consequences for the Libyan people.”

For his part, Libyan Ambassador Taher Elsonni said, “it should be clear now to all that the war criminal’s illusion has come to an end and became something from the past, and those who have been betting on him have lost their bet. And he is the one who pulled himself out of any dialogue or peaceful solutions. That’s why we call on all those who got involved with this war criminal to put down their weapons and surrender, and side by our nation, so we can end this cycle of conflict and sit for dialogue and reconciliation and discuss the day after Haftar.”

General Haftar’s “Libyan National Army,” also known as the “Libyan Arab Armed Forces” (LAAF) began an offensive on Tripoli in April of 2019. The armed conflict has been raging in and around some of Libya’s most densely populated areas since then.
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