Libya is experiencing “a serious crisis because of negative foreign interference,” Faiez Mustafa Sarraj told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday evening.
With “external financial and military support,” the President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord told delegations that a military assault against the capital, Tripoli, has “led to institutional and political division” and impacted the peace and security of the citizens.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the stability and civilian nature of Libya is a critical matter, not only for Libya…but for the region and the world”, he lamented.
Mr. Sarraj recalled that this past April when the UN Secretary-General was visiting Tripoli and the country was preparing excitedly and hopefully to hold a national inclusive conference and “the criminal [self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) of commander] Khalifa Haftar” had attempted a coup, which, like his 2014 attempt, failed.
“Repeating once again his desperate attempt to militarize the country and to block our path toward a modern civilian State,” he said that outside support had enabled the “bloody criminal seeking power” to wage the aggression.
He criticized United Arab Emirates media for providing Haftar with a forum for his hate speech and incitement.
Denouncing “efforts that support the war criminal and… coup-plotters in violation of UN Security Council resolutions”, Mr. Sarraj said Libya considers thos supporters “morally and legally responsible”.
Extrajudicial killings and aggression
Mr. Sarraj cited extrajudicial killings and enforced displacement as two examples of widespread human rights violations that have left some 3,000 causalities and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Moreover, Mr. Sarraj maintained that Mr. Haftar has committed war crimes, including randomly bombing civilian neighbourhoods, airports, hospitals and ambulances as well as recruiting children.
“We ask the ICC [International Criminal Court] told hold the responsible criminals accountable” and for the UN to “quickly send a fact-finding mission” and for the ICC prosecutor to begin its investigation, he said.
“Haftar is trying to promote a war between east and west Libya”, he underscored, saying that “the truth is it’s between a military State and a civilian State.”
The President of the Presidency Council said Libya is “keen to prevent the bloodshed of all Libyans” and called upon its youth to “return securely and safely to their nation”.
Irregular and illegal migration
Mr. Sarraj pointed out that amid this crisis, Libya was facing another, that of irregular and illegal migration.
The flow of migrants entering Libya on their way to Europe has affected its economy and society, he said.
“The aggression has exacerbated this situation”, he said, adding that migrants have become “easy prey for terrorist organizations”.
Against the backdrop of what he called “international silence”, Mr. Sarraj maintained, “we are victims of this migration and the cause”.
He affirmed his continued cooperation with the target States of migrants and welcomed the cooperation of organizations to address the situation.