Resurgence of violence could damage Libya’s political progress: U.N.

Ghassan Salame
Ghassan Salame

The United Nations has warned that the situation in Libya remains volatile despite positive developments on the political front.

The U.N. envoy to the country, Ghassan Salame, warned the Security Council that resurgence in violence is threatening the political process. He says the fight for control of Libya’s oil resources highlights the underlying issues still plaguing the country.

The U.N. envoy to Libya painted a grim picture of the country’s future if action isn’t taken to reconcile differences between warring sides.

“The status quo in Libya cannot be sustained. The country is, in fact, in decline. The crisis in the Oil Crescent gave us a glimpse of what is in store if tangible progress is not made now. Economic collapse, the breakdown of public services, and more frequent and intense outbreaks of violence,” Salame said.

It was relatively quiet in Libya earlier in the year, but the envoy pointed out the past two months have been marked by an uptick in military action and violence, which has diverted attention from the peace process, and drained the momentum gained so far.

Libya has been dogged by conflict since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, as various factions fought to gain control of key regions in the North African state.

The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, creating a humanitarian crisis in the country.

Following talks that begun in 2016 however, there is hope that Libya will hold a presidential election before the end of the year, to end the differences and unify the nation.