Tripoli, 25 November:
A United Nations mission led by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Georg Charpentier, was in the south of Libya on 19-24 November to look into the region’s general development as well as issues relating to the lack of control over the country’s borders.
Visiting the towns of Ghat, Obari, Murzuk, Sebha and their surrounding areas, the mission met with local and military councils as well as civil society organisations. According to a UN statement, talks focused mainly on local concerns about the porous borders, illegal immigration, citizenship rights and the region’s poor social infrastructure.
“One year after my first visit to the region, I was able to see the south in a different context — one that is moving further down the path of the democratic transition,” said Charpentier.
However, despite such progress, problems still abound.
“There were a lot of issues raised relating to border security, the negative effects of illegal immigration and the development of the south in general,” he said, speaking in Sebha at the conclusion of the trip.
“One aspect on which they put a lot of emphasis was the issue of identity of some people in the south who perceive themselves as Libyans but do not have proper identity documents. This is a very sensitive and sovereign issue which is for the Libyans to determine”, Charpentier added. He said the forthcoming constitutional process could provide a way forward. It “offers a platform to address this issue in an inclusive and consultative manner”, he said.
The mission included representatives from the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and agencies such as UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO and the United Nations Mine Action Service.