Libya: UN envoy strongly condemns abduction of parliamentarian, calls for his immediate release

Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Manuel Elías

28 January 2016 – The most senior United Nations official in Libya today strongly condemned the abduction of a member of the House of Representatives, just days after a significant step forward in the quest to end the country’s political divisions and armed conflict.

According to the UN, Mohamed al-Ra’id was abducted yesterday on his way to the airport after participating in a House of Representatives session in Tobruk, a port city on Libya’s eastern Mediterranean coast.

“I am extremely upset by this unjustified and unacceptable act,” said Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in a press release.

“I call on all influential actors to spare no effort to ensure his immediate and unconditional release. MP al-Ra’id should not pay the price for his courageous decision to uphold the national interest, risking his life to rejoin the House of Representatives in accordance with the Libyan Political Agreement," he added.

Last Monday, Mr. Kobler welcomed the endorsement, in principle, of the Libyan Political Agreement by the House of Representatives, taking note of the reservation of the House on an article related to the division of power.

The UN-brokered deal was signed last December in Morocco, agreeing to form a Government of National Accord with a Presidency Council, Cabinet, House of Representatives and State Council.

“We will continue consultations with all parties to find consensual solution to all outstanding issues," the Special Representative said in a press release.

He also took note of the House of Representatives’ decision to refer back the list of the cabinet to the Presidency Council, and urged both them to take the necessary decisions as soon as possible.

UNSMIL was established in 2011 by the UN Security Council at the request of the Libyan authorities following six months of armed conflict to support the country’s new transitional authorities in their post-conflict efforts. The four-year crisis has left nearly 2.4 million Libyans in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

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