UN chief urges all sides to commit to political solution to end Libyan crisis

11 August 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon renewed his call on all sides in Libya to commit to a political process, lamenting the lack of progress in efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict.

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.

In a telephone call on Wednesday, Mr. Ban told Libyan Prime Minister, Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, that he was “very troubled” that there had been an absolute lack of progress in the efforts to find a politically negotiated solution to the crisis, despite the efforts of his Special Envoy, Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib.

The Secretary-General said all sides must commit to a political process, and urged the Prime Minister to respond constructively to the Special Envoy’s ideas, according to a read out provided by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

Separately, Mr. Ban today voiced his deep concern over reports of unacceptably large number of civilian casualties in the conflict. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General expressed his sincere sympathies and solidarity with the Libyan people, particularly those who have lost loved ones in recent attacks.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to exercise extreme caution in their actions, in order to minimize any further loss of civilian life,” said the statement.

He reiterated his strongly held view that there can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis, and called for a ceasefire linked to a political process which would meet the aspirations of the Libyan people, saying that such a truce was the only viable means of achieving peace and security.

Mr. Ban urge all parties to the conflict to immediately engage with Mr. Khatib, and respond “concretely and positively” to the ideas presented to them.

The two sides to the conflict remain divided on how to reach a political solution to the crisis, which has caused an estimated 630,000 people to flee Libya since February and displaced another 200,000 within the country.

In his conversation with the Prime Minister, the Secretary-General, who is currently on an official visit to the Republic of Korea, also voiced concern over the lack of medical supplies and fuel, which had added urgency to the need to address the humanitarian needs.

Contrary to one Libyan media report, however, the Secretary-General did not say he would invite the Security Council to convene a special session, the read-out added.


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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Truce and transitional pact key to ending Libyan crisis – UN official

A ceasefire and the establishment of an agreement on transitional arrangements that fulfil the aspirations of the Libyan people remain the only sustainable options for a political solution to the crisis in the North African country, the United Nations political chief told the Security Council today.