The United Nations mission in Libya has warned that a rapidly deteriorating security and deepening political divisions have brought Libya “closer to the brink of protracted conflict and civil strife.”
The mission’s head Bernardino Leon told the Security Council on Monday that, during his just-concluded first official visit to the country, he stressed that the solution to the current crisis cannot be achieved militarily but through political consensus.
Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.
In eastern Libya, “renewed military confrontations in Benghazi threaten to exact an increasingly heavier toll on the civilian population,” Leon said. “In the west, an unrelenting campaign of indiscriminate shelling continues to target large sections of the Warshafana area near Tripoli, causing untold suffering on the part of the civilian population.”
He said all parties to the conflict acknowledged deep political differences and a “profound sense of distrust.”
“Yet, they all underscored the need to overcome those differences, to end armed hostilities, and for the political process to resume as soon as possible in order to prevent further polarization and division,” the official noted.