• UN voices “grave concern” over worsening security situation in Libya

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    The UN Security Council on Monday voiced its “grave concern” over the worsening security situation in Libya, calling on all parties in the country to engage in political dialogue and refrain from violence.

    In a statement issued here after a meeting on the North African country, the Security Council reaffirmed its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya, while expressing its grave concern at the worsening security situation and political divisions, which threaten to undermine the transition to democracy.

    The Security Council reiterated its support to the people and the elected political institutions in Libya, saying that the adoption of a constitution will be crucial in providing the framework for Libya’s secure and prosperous future. It emphasized the urgency and importance of further progress in the constitutional process.

    It also underlined the importance of a single, inclusive national dialogue that can forge consensus on the priorities for securing a transition to democracy and help ensure that all views in Libya are properly taken into account.

    The Security Council strongly condemned the killing of unarmed protesters in Tripoli on Nov. 15 and said that all parties must reject violence against civilians and respect the right of all Libyans to peaceful assembly, according to the statement.

    The Council also expressed its concern at the use of force by armed groups against state institutions, including the illegal seizure of energy facilities and smuggling of natural resources and urged the transfer of control of all facilities back to the proper authorities, saying that further efforts by the Libyan government to resolve peacefully the disruptions of Libya’s energy exports.

    The Council called on all parties in Libya to support the democratic transition in Libya, including agreement on its immediate next steps, and to engage in political dialogue and refrain from violence and actions that challenge the stability of the state.

    Two years after the end of the Libyan civil war in 2011, authorities in the country are still struggling to establish control and rein in the tens of armed militia groups that flourished during the uprising. Reports of targeted killing and kidnappings by armed groups are frequent.

    Fed up with the uncontrolled militias, protesters gathered in the capital, Tripoli, as well as Benghazi and Derma, which allegedly houses fundamentalist militias, to demonstrate against the militias. The demonstrations in Tripoli left at least 43 dead and more than 450 wounded on Nov. 15.

    While in Benghazi nine people were reported to have died and around 50 were injured when heavy clashes erupted on Nov. 25 between the Libyan special forces and the militia group, Ansar al-Sharia. PNA

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