Security forces patrol south of Libyan capital Tripoli
Africa

Libya: Security Council Endorses Resolution To End War

The British-drafted resolution passed with 14 votes in favour and none against, with Russia abstaining.

Security forces patrol south of Libyan capital Tripoli

The United Nations Security Council has endorsed a resolution for ending the war in Libya and condemned the recent increase in violence in the north African country.

The British-drafted 55-point resolution was pass with 14 votes in favour.

Russia abstained even though President Vladimir Putin was one of the 12 leaders who agreed to the plan at a conference in Berlin in January.

The Russian ambassador said he abstained because the government has "serious doubts" about whether the resolution can be implemented and end the war between rival governments in the way Russia would "like to see it".

He said the Berlin plan "has one defect", that being the "lack of clearly expressed consent from the Libyan sides themselves".

British ambassador Karen Pierce countered that "the resolution is viable", saying all it does "is give concrete expression to the commitments that leaders adopted at Berlin — and that included [the] adoption by President Putin".

"We all want to see it implemented," Ms Pierce added.

"But it will be up to the parties on the ground and their foreign backers as to whether or not it gets implemented.

"So to the Russians and the others who have very close interests in Libya, I would think the remedy is in their hands."

The resolution demands that all countries refrain from interfering in Libya’s conflict and its internal affairs and observe a UN arms embargo, "including by ceasing all support for and withdrawing all armed mercenary personnel".

Russia sought unsuccessfully to change references to the growing involvement of mercenaries in the initial draft to "foreign terrorist fighters".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week that the Berlin agreement has been repeatedly violated by continuing arms deliveries to the warring parties and escalating fighting.

He called the current offensives by rival forces "a scandal", saying the commitments "apparently were made without a true intention of respecting them".

The resolution welcomes last week’s ceasefire talks between Libya’s warring sides in Geneva and calls for their continuation "without further delay in order to agree [to] a permanent ceasefire".

It asks Mr Guterres to submit his views on conditions for a ceasefire and proposals for effective monitoring of a truce, with a view to making detailed recommendations when a ceasefire is announced.

The African Union, European Union and Arab League have been mentioned as possible participants in ceasefire monitoring along with the UN.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a civil war toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was later killed.

In the chaos that followed the country was divided.

A weak UN-recognised administration that holds the capital of Tripoli and parts of the country’s west is backed by Turkey, which recently sent thousands of soldiers to Libya, and to a lesser degree Qatar and Italy as well as local militias.

On the other side is a rival government in the east that supports self-styled general Khalifa Hafter, whose forces launched an offensive to capture the capital last April and are backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia.

Authorities in Tripoli and US officials have accused Hifter of relying on hundreds of Russian mercenaries.

Sudanese armed groups from the Darfur region recently joined the fighting on both sides, according to a report by UN experts.

Cover image: Library image of Tripoli (Picture: PA).