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Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 459th meeting on the situation in Libya

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 459th meeting, held on 23 September 2014, at Ministerial level, adopted the following decision on the situation in Libya:

Council,

1. Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Libya [PSC/MIN/2.(CDLIX)], as well as of the statement of the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the Commission for Libya, former Prime Minister of Djibouti, Dileita Mohamed Dileita. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Algeria and Egypt as Chairs of the Committees on Security and Political Issues established by the 3rd ministerial meeting of Libya's neighbors, held in Hammamet, Tunisia, on 13 and 14 July 2014;

2. Reaffirms its commitment to the unity, territorial integrity, political independence and sovereignty of Libya;

3. Recalls its earlier communiqués and press statements on the situation in Libya, including press statement PSC/PR/BR.(CDXXXVI) adopted at its 436th meeting held on 23rd May 2014. Council also recalls paragraph 21 of decision Assembly/AU/Dec.536(XXIII) on the Report of the Peace and Security Council on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa, adopted by the Assembly of the Union at its 23th Ordinary Session held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 26 to 27 June 2014;

4. Reiterates the AU's concern at the situation prevailing in Libya, marked by pervasive insecurity, the existence of various armed groups occupying different parts of the country, collapse of State authority, and deep political and social divisions. Council stresses that, if this situation is not rapidly contained and resolved, it has the potential to undermine irreversibly the unity and cohesion of the Libyan society and the very existence of the State, with far-reaching consequences for regional security and stability, especially given the growing threat posed by terrorist and criminal groups, some of whom have found safe havens in parts of Libya, and the proliferation of arms. In this regard, Council reiterates its rejection of terrorism in all its manifestations;

5. Strongly condemns all acts of violence in Libya, including the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian institutions, the targeted killing of individuals, including human rights activists and other civil society actors, and retaliatory acts, as well as the senseless destruction of property and infrastructure. Council stresses the need to hold accountable those responsible for the perpetration of acts of violence, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and undermining the political process. Council fully supports the relevant provisions of resolution 2174(2014) adopted by the United Nations Security Council, on 27 August 2014, as well as the embargo on arms and related material of all types, imposed on Libya by resolution 1970(2011) of 26 February 2011;

6. Commends the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the Commission for the dedication with which he is fulfilling his mandate, welcomes the consultations he has undertaken to date with the Libyan stakeholders, neighboring countries and international stakeholders, and encourages him to pursue and intensify these efforts;

7. Expresses appreciation for the efforts being made by Libya's neighbours to help Libya address the many challenges facing it and to facilitate the promotion of lasting peace, security, stability and reconciliation in the country. Council welcomes the outcomes of the various ministerial meetings of Libya's neighbours, the most recent of which took place in Cairo on 25 August 2014, as well as the work of the two Committees on Security and Political Issues, including the visit to Tobruk of a delegation of senior officials of the neighbouring countries, undertaken on 14 September 2014 to prepare the ground for a ministerial visit and the launching of an inclusive inter-Libyan dialogue;

8. Underlines the central role to be played by the neighbouring countries in support of the Libyan stakeholders' efforts to overcome the current crisis, bearing in mind that the region is shouldering the burden of the crisis, and that its deep knowledge of the situation puts it in a position to effectively assist in the emergence of a Libyan consensus on the best way forward;

9. Welcomes the appointment of Mr. Bernardino Leon as the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), and urges the UN, in exercising its responsibilities, to intensify its efforts in order to contribute more effectively to the resolution of the Libyan crisis and to the mitigation of its impact on regional security and stability. Council further welcomes the efforts of other international stakeholders, including the League of Arab States, the European Union and other stakeholders, including the bilateral partners. Council affirms its conviction that a successful international engagement towards the resolution of the Libyan crisis requires a coordinated and harmonized international approach, to leverage the added value to be brought by the various regional and international actors concerned;

10. Emphasizes that there can be no military solution to the current crisis in Libya and rejects any external military interference in the country, which can only exacerbate and further polarize the situation, thereby making it more difficult to reach a peaceful political solution fully owned by the Libyan stakeholders;

11. Calls for renewed efforts to achieve a lasting cessation of hostilities between the warring parties and facilitate the initiation, in good faith and with the required spirit of mutual respect and tolerance, of an inclusive dialogue to re-launch and complete the current transition. Council stresses that the envisaged dialogue should be based on the following principles:(i) respect of the Constitutional Declaration of August 2011, (ii) commitment to the democratic process, and (iii) unequivocal rejection of terrorism and violent extremism;

12. Strongly urges all the Libyan stakeholders to put an immediate end to the current spiral of violence, refrain from any action likely to exacerbate the situation, put the interest of their country above narrow partisan considerations, and work in earnest to fulfill the aspirations of the Libyan people to democracy, the rule of law and socioeconomic wellbeing, as expressed during the popular uprising of February 2011;

13. Welcomes the initiative taken by Algeria to convene a dialogue among the various Libyan personalities and political forces towards national reconciliation, and actively supports the efforts to ensure the participation of all concerned Libyan stakeholders in the launching of this dialogue, in October 2014 in Algiers;

14. Expresses the AU's strong support to the legal Libyan institutions, notably the House of Representatives elected on 25 June 2014, and urges it to carry out its responsibilities in a spirit of inclusiveness. In this respect, Council welcomes the UNSMIL initiative announced on 21st September 2014, focusing on: (i) the conclusion of a framework agreement on the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives and other critical governance issues, and (ii) agreement on the date, venue and ceremonial for a handover from the previous General National Congress to the current House of Representatives, it being understood that such an initiative should be implemented in close collaboration and coordination with the neighboring countries and the AU;

15. Takes note of the approval by the House of the Representatives of the new Government, on 22 September 2014, in Tobruk, and urges it to spare no effor in reaching out to other Libyan stakeholders, in order to facilitate the reconciliation process. Council further expresses its full support to the Constitutional Drafting Assembly based in Al-Baida, and encourages its members to persevere in their efforts towards the early completion of the important task assigned to them;

16. Decides to step up its efforts in support of Libya and its people, as well as of the region, emphasizing the need for Africa to play a crucial role in the ongoing process. In this respect, Council agrees to establish, in close coordination with and with the support of the UN, an International Contact Group for Libya (ICG-L), comprising all of Libya's neighbors, as well as the relevant multilateral and bilateral partners, in order to facilitate a coordinated and harmonized international engagement, in support of the efforts of the neighbors of Libya. Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to take immediate steps for the early convening of the ICG-L;

17. Supports the establishment of a High-Level Committee of Heads of State and Government, to enable the AU more effectively to support peace and reconstruction efforts in Libya and consolidate the results achieved by Libya's neighbours towards the cessation of hostilities and national reconciliation. Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to initiate the required consultations for the establishment and operationalization, in due course, of this High-Level Committee;

18. Expresses deep concern at the humanitarian situation resulting from the current crisis, including internal displacement and the flow of refugees toward the neighboring countries as well as the fate of migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe by sea. Council calls for renewed efforts to assist the affected populations, as well as the neighboring countries;

19. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to submit to it quarterly reports on the evolution of the situation in Libya;

20. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


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