US ambassador Bodde’s farewell message calls for ceasefire and return to UNSMIL-led Libyan political dialogue
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 24 May 2019:
In his leaving statement published last night, outgoing US ambassador to Libya, Peter Bodde, urged the conflicting Libyan parties to a ceasefire in the Tripoli fighting and a return to UNSMIL-led political dialogue.
Here is his full statement:
Today marks my last day serving as the Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Libya. As I return to retirement, I am struck and saddened by the deepening divide that is undermining prospects of a better future for all Libyans. The ongoing fighting in Tripoli is damaging essential civilian infrastructure, jeopardizing U.S.-Libya counterterrorism efforts and of most concern, endangering the lives of innocent civilians, including women and children.
At this sensitive moment in Libya’s transition, military posturing only risks propelling Libya back toward chaos. The time has come for all parties to rapidly return to political mediation led by UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to help avoid further escalation and chart a path forward that provides security and prosperity for all Libyans.
I firmly believe that lasting peace and stability in Libya will only come through a political solution derived from an inclusive dialogue representing the perspectives and concerns of communities across Libya: North, South, East and West. The success of that dialogue will depend upon a ceasefire in and around Tripoli.
The Libyan people have suffered far too long with insecurity, corruption, substandard basic services and the plundering of resources that rightfully belong to all Libyans. I urge all parties to lay down their arms and return to negotiations that will finally bring the cycle of violence in Libya to an end.