By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 18 December 2013:
The Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Tarek Mitri, told a press conference . . .[restrict]yesterday that the UN Security Council was deeply troubled by the spread of weapons in the country and called for national dialogue to resolve ongoing security problems.
Mitri, who was speaking following his briefing to the Security Council in New York eight days ago, told reporters that while the UN had grave concerns over the deteriorating security situation in the country, and the proliferation of weapons, the Security Council also recognised the opportunities presented by the current situation, with hopes that stability could be restored.
The UNSMIL head stressed the UN’s desire to see “a transformation of the current political crisis and security instability into an opportunity that would allow Libya to proceed with its transition towards state building, establishing the rule of law, ensuring stability, promoting human rights and addressing livelihood issues”.
In a statement made by the French President of the Security Council, also yesterday, the Security Council expressed its concern at the use of violence by armed groups against Libyan state institutions, including the illegal seizure of energy facilities and smuggling of natural resources, urging the the transfer of such facilities back to proper authorities.
Oil exports have been crippled in the country since July when a number of minority groups with different vested interests began blockading oil and gas facilities and infrastructure. While the UN has said that dialogue is necessary between all different forces in Libya, without exception, Mitri told the press conference yesterday that the UN refused to enter into discussions with groups illegally occupying oil fields or oil terminals.
Mitri added that the work of the UN in Libya was limited to helping bring disparate groups together and its role did not exceed providing assistance and advice to Libyans. [/restrict]