Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : There is no military solution to Libya’s crisis of legitimacy

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 30 August 2022.

Statement delivered in New York by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council briefing on Libya.

Thank you President.

I would like to thank USG DiCarlo for her briefing, and Raisedon Zenenga and his team in the United Nations Support Mission in Libya for their continued work in difficult circumstances.

I also thank Ambassador Kamboj for her briefing on the 1970 Committee and I welcome the participation of the representative of Libya in our meeting today.

President, I will make three points.

First, the United Kingdom condemns the violence perpetrated by armed groups in Tripoli on 26 and 27 August. The use of violence by armed groups – whether to acquire control of territory or local resources, or to end political stalemate – is unacceptable. As we’ve just heard, the actions of armed groups this weekend resulted only in innocent civilian casualties and the destruction of civil infrastructure. Our condolences go to the victims and their families.

Such violence is a result of the presence of parallel governments and the misappropriation of state resources. The Libyan parties, and the international community, must acknowledge that there is no military solution to Libya’s crisis of legitimacy. Rather, all Libyan parties must engage constructively with a UN-brokered political process, supported by the wider international community, to agree a path towards free, fair and inclusive elections as soon as possible.

We must also ensure that the resources of the Libyan people are managed in a transparent, responsible and accountable manner. The wishes of the Libyan people must be prioritised ahead of narrow self-interests.

Second, I encourage all Council members to agree to the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General immediately. Increased tension and violence only illustrates the need for the urgent appointment of a Special Representative to lead mediation efforts. I call upon this Council to stand ready to support the Special Representative to deliver an inclusive and comprehensive political process.

Finally, in recent weeks a number of diplomatic missions have faced restrictions on their movements within Libya. The Libyan authorities must allow full freedom of movement and travel within its territory in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. We also emphasise the importance of allowing individuals and organisations delivering activity on behalf of embassies freedom to carry out their work.

President, the United Kingdom reaffirms its readiness to work with Libyan stakeholders, the incoming SRSG, and all international partners to work towards a stable, peaceful and prosperous Libya.

Thank you.