The process of resolving the Libyan crisis should involve mutual concessions among the parties to the conflict and unconditional dialogue, the African Union said today, assuring the United Nations of its commitment to joint efforts to find an inclusive political solution.
“We are here today to say that it is important that such a process be conducted and owned by the Libyan people, involving mutual concessions in a dialogue without predetermined conditions,” said Hamady Ould Hamady, the Mauritanian Foreign Minister, addressing the Security Council on behalf of the AU High Level Ad Hoc Committee on the Crisis in Libya.
He stressed the need for Africa’s contribution to efforts to find a solution, and close coordination between all groups working to resolve the conflict.
“We are here to illustrate the solemn commitment of the Africa to work closely with multilateral partners, in particular the United Nations and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Libya” [to find a lasting solution to the Libya crisis], Mr. Hamady said.
“The African Union will be a loyal and efficient partner to the United Nations in general, and to your Council in particular. It will serve as a faithful and attentive friend to the people of Libya, under all circumstances,” he added.
Mr. Hamady recalled the an extraordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments in Ethiopia last month expressed “surprise and disappointment at attempt to marginalize the continent in the management of the Libyan conflict,” noting that neighbouring countries in North Africa and the Sahel region were bearing the brunt of the crisis.
“Tens of thousands of African migrant workers had to return to their countries of origin without a real prospect of socio-economic reinsertion [and] faced with all sorts of difficulties that our countries encounter,” said Mr. Hamady. “It is evident that the burden imposed in this manner to [AU] Member States may bring about social tensions that are likely to degenerate into political crisis,” he added.
He said that the AU “road map” for resolving the Libya crisis called for an immediate cessation of hostilities; the cooperation of the Libyan authorities in facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid; the protection of foreigners, including African migrant workers; and political reforms that would eliminate the root causes of the conflict.
“We are here to make a plea for an immediate humanitarian pause [in fighting] in order that the pressing needs of the populations affected can be met, a pause that should be followed by a ceasefire liked to the political process, in particular by starting with an inclusive and consensual transition,” Mr. Hamady told the Council.
Libya has been engulfed by fighting since a pro-democracy movement opposed to the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi emerged in February following similar protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries across North Africa and the Middle East.