There is a risk that Libya may be partitioned almost a year after the postponement of elections, the country’s U.N. envoy warned Tuesday.
Abdoulaye Bathily, the U.N. envoy for Libya, said some institutional players are actively hindering progress toward elections.
”The genuine political will of these actors needs to be tested against reality, as we approach Dec. 24th, the first anniversary of the postponement of elections and the 7th anniversary of the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement, ” Bathily said as he shared Libyans’ concerns about delays to the long-awaited elections in a briefing to the Security Council.
”Further prolonging the interim period will make the country even more vulnerable to political, economic and security instability and could put the country at risk of partition.”
He urged Libyan leaders to work with resolve toward holding elections as soon as possible.
Bathily also encouraged the 15-member Council to send an unequivocal message to obstructionists that their actions will not remain without consequences.
Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi was ousted after four decades in power.
The situation has worsened since last March when East Libya-based parliament appointed a new government led by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, but Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, one of the two figures claiming power and authority in Libya, insists he will cede authority only to a government that comes through an “elected parliament,” raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war.
Libya saw violent clashes between the two rival militias in the capital, Tripoli, which claimed dozens of lives last August.