UN / LIBYA

19-Nov-2020 00:03:30
“Tangible progress was achieved” in the Libya peace process, with the increase of internal flights connecting major cities and the exchange of detainees continues, the UN top official in the country Stephanie Williams told the Security Council on Thursday. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / LIBYA
TRT: 3:30
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 19 NOVEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE

1. Exterior shot, UN fag

19 NOVEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“I am pleased to report that tangible progress was achieved as part of the package of confidence-building measures agreed in Geneva: flights between Benghazi and Tripoli as well as to Sebha, Ghat and Ubari have resumed and I am hopeful to see the reopening of flights to Ghadames happening soon. The exchange of detainees continues, facilitated by the elders’ council and with the support of the Joint Military Commission. The sharp decrease in the number of civilian casualties compared to the second quarter of 2020 is another reminder that when guns are silent, civilians are protected.”
4. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“Allow me to reiterate that the situation remains volatile; there is no time for complacency. While the Joint Military Commission seeks to operationalize the ceasefire agreement, the two sides have not yet begun to withdraw their forces.”
6. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“Many people remain arbitrarily detained in Libya, without the judicial systems in place to challenge the basis for their detention. In addition, as this Council has heard before, illegal detention facilities operated by armed groups are part of the war economy, using torture, extortion, rape and other human rights abuses as tools of control. I once again reiterate calls for all illegal facilities to be identified and closed.”
8. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“Humanitarian needs, compounded by the increasing impact of COVID-19, will remain in the near-term as agreements materialize on the ground and the economy rebounds. It is estimated that for the beginning of 2021, 1.3 million people will be in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, an increase of 40 per cent compared to last year.”
10. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“This year, more than 11,000 migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, which is by all definitions not a safe port for return. The numbers already far surpass the total for 2019. Hundreds have paid the ultimate price, with more than 900 migrants and refugees drowning, or presumed drowned, in the Mediterranean in 2020. On 12 November, three deadly shipwrecks, recorded in one day, claimed over 100 lives. Migrants and refugees remaining in Libya have faced an upsurge in grave protection risks and violations of their human rights.”
12. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya:
“The UN and our partners are at the forefront supporting the national authorities with their COVID-19 response, including providing health supplies and personal protection equipment, as well as capacity building of health workers. We are also supporting to alleviate the suffering of those most affected and in need of assistance due to the protracted conflict and socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, reaching more than 309,000 people with humanitarian assistance this year.”
14. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
STORYLINE
“Tangible progress was achieved” in the Libya peace process, with the increase of internal flights connecting major cities and the exchange of detainees continues, the UN top official in the country Stephanie Williams told the Security Council on Thursday (19 Nov).

“I am pleased to report that tangible progress was achieved as part of the package of confidence-building measures agreed in Geneva,” Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya said in a virtual briefing to the Council.

“Flights between Benghazi and Tripoli as well as to Sebha, Ghat and Ubari have resumed and I am hopeful to see the reopening of flights to Ghadames happening soon. The exchange of detainees continues, facilitated by the elders’ council and with the support of the Joint Military Commission. The sharp decrease in the number of civilian casualties compared to the second quarter of 2020 is another reminder that when guns are silent, civilians are protected,” she said.

Williams also warned that “the situation remains volatile; there is no time for complacency.”

The two sides are yet to begin their forces withdrawal. Williams reported that the Government of National Accord forces remain stationed at Abu Grein and al-Washkah, with patrolling activities reportedly taking place while the Libyan Arab Armed Forces and auxiliaries continued to set up fortifications and military outposts equipped with air defence systems between Sirte and al-Jufra, and in the northern area of al-Jufra airbase. Intense cargo aircraft activity was monitored between Benina airport, al-Jufra and al-Gardabiya airbase.

“Many people remain arbitrarily detained in Libya, without the judicial systems in place to challenge the basis for their detention,” Williams said. “In addition, as this Council has heard before, illegal detention facilities operated by armed groups are part of the war economy, using torture, extortion, rape and other human rights abuses as tools of control. I once again reiterate calls for all illegal facilities to be identified and closed.”

She also reported that the humanitarian needs, “compounded by the increasing impact of COVID-19, will remain in the near-term as agreements materialize on the ground and the economy rebounds. It is estimated that for the beginning of 2021, 1.3 million people will be in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, an increase of 40 per cent compared to last year.”

The number of displaced people in Libya dropped to 392,000 people, from the peak of displacement of 426,000 people in June, due to the suspension of hostilities. However, the basic services “remain lacking” to facilitate return to their homes. The risks posed by booby-traps, including IEDs, landmines, and explosive remnants of war will continue to impede safe and dignified returns until all contaminated areas are cleared.

On migration, Williams said “this year, more than 11,000 migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, which is by all definitions not a safe port for return. The numbers already far surpass the total for 2019. Hundreds have paid the ultimate price, with more than 900 migrants and refugees drowning, or presumed drowned, in the Mediterranean in 2020. On 12 November, three deadly shipwrecks, recorded in one day, claimed over 100 lives. Migrants and refugees remaining in Libya have faced an upsurge in grave protection risks and violations of their human rights. “

She also reported that on 10 November, a 15-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker was killed, and two others were injured when armed men entered the property where they were staying and started shooting. The young victim was waiting resettlement out of Libya to a third country. This follows other incidents this year where migrants and refugees have been killed or injured; many others have been arbitrarily detained. As of 8 November, more than 2,000 migrants and refugees are in official detention centres in Libya.

“The UN and our partners are at the forefront supporting the national authorities with their COVID-19 response, including providing health supplies and personal protection equipment, as well as capacity building of health workers. We are also supporting to alleviate the suffering of those most affected and in need of assistance due to the protracted conflict and socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, reaching more than 309,000 people with humanitarian assistance this year,” Williams said.
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