As Libya marks 64th independence anniversary, UN envoy urges unity behind new Government

Libyan parties sign the Political Agreement in Skhirat, Morocco, 17 December 2015. Photo: UNSMIL

24 December 2015 – A week after brokering an accord for a national unity government in strife-torn Libya, the top United Nations envoy for the country urged all Libyans to use today’s 64th independence anniversary to put their differences behind them and unite behind the new inclusive institutions.

“The year ahead, Libya’s 65th year as an independent State, will be an important one,” Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said in a message.

“With the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement, Libyans have a clear plan for rebuilding a strong, united and peaceful Libya. It is important for all Libyans to unite in support of the Government of National Accord – one government for one country. In unity there is peace. In peace there is prosperity.”

Mr. Kobler facilitated the agreement to form a Government of National Accord with a Presidency Council, Cabinet, House of Representatives and State Council, in talks between the factions last week in a bid to end a four-year-long crisis that has left nearly 2.4 million Libyans in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

A former Italian possession, Libya was the first country to become independent through the UN, in 1951, after a brief period of UN trusteeship.

“Some of the lessons from the birth of Libya can help us today. Like now, Libya was then faced with the task of creating and uniting behind new common institutions,” Mr. Kobler said.

“Today it is one week since the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement which puts the country back on the path to build a modern democratic State. I encourage all Libyans to unite behind the new inclusive government institutions.”

Yesterday the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution hailing the formation of the Presidency Council, calling on it to work within the 30 days prescribed by the agreement to form a Government of National Accord, and finalize interim security arrangements to stabilize the North African country, which has been plagued by factional fighting since the 2011 revolution.

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