UN Security Council extends support mission in Libya

10 September 2015 (Last Updated September 10th, 2015 18:30)

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which aims to resolve the country's political crisis, until 15 March 2016.

UNSC

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which aims to resolve the country's political crisis, until 15 March 2016.

Unanimously adopted by the 15-member body, the resolution urged for an 'immediate and unconditional' ceasefire in Libya, which has been plagued by factional fighting since the 2011 revolution.

The situation in the North African nation has continued to deteriorate in recent months amid significant political fragmentation and violence.

The council has called on all parties to 'engage constructively' with the efforts of UNSMIL and secretary-general special representative Bernardino Leon to finalise the political agreement, which was initiated by several Libyan leaders in July to resolve ongoing conflict.

In addition, the 15-member body has sought the immediate formation of a Government of National Accord and agreement on interim security arrangements to stabilise the country.

Speaking to reporters at the UN-facilitated talks in Skhirat, Morocco, Leon said a new round of talks, which will be the final round and 'the moment of truth for the parties'.

"We are very hopeful that they will understand that this deadline of the 20th of September must be the last one,"

Leon said: "We are very hopeful that they will understand that this deadline of the 20th of September must be the last one, must be the one that will allow Libya to get out of this crisis."

Acknowledging that the situation in Libya has worsened with the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons from and through Libyan territory, the council also voiced grave concerns at the endangerment of lives in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Libya.

In addition, the council members condemned the use of violence against civilians and institutions, including attacks on airports, and called for those responsible to be held accountable.

Led by the UN Department of Political Affairs, UNSMIL aims to help the National Transitional Council rebuild the State of Law and other institutions in Libya.


Image: A wide view of the UN Security Council in session. Photo: courtesy of UN / Devra Berkowitz (file).