UN Headquarters

10 April 2019

Opening remarks to the press at the UN Security Council

António Guterres

Today I had the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the situation in Libya.

As you remember, as I was leaving Benghazi and leaving Libya, I said I was deeply concerned and that I had a heavy heart with the possibility of a serious confrontation in and around Tripoli.

Unfortunately, until now that feeling has been entirely confirmed.

But, it is still time to stop.

It is still time for a ceasefire to take place – for a cessation of hostilities to take place and to avoid the worse which would be a dramatic, bloody battle for Tripoli.

It is still time to recognize there is no military solution.

Only political solutions can apply to situations like the one in Libya and I hope it is still time to allow to move ahead with a political process and I want to express my enormous admiration for the work that is courageously being done on the ground by my Special Representative Ghassan Salamé.

On my side, and using our good offices, we will do everything to support these efforts. 

At the same time, I am particularly worried with migrants and refugees that were caught in this terrible situation.

I am happy it was possible for UNHCR [The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] to evacuate the detention camps, but there are terrible concerns in relation to, not only the lives of the Libyans, but also the migrants and refugees in the city and other foreigners in the city and one reason more for us to believe that we absolutely need to stop this fighting.