UNSMIL dismayed by LNA aligned militias halting Traghen elections
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 27 August 2020:
UNSMIL expressed its dismay by the halting of last Tuesday’s Traghen council elections by Libyan National Army (LNA)-aligned militias. The LNA is commanded by Khalifa Hafter.
In its statement on Tuesday, UNSMIL said that ‘‘Municipal Council elections represent the vitality of the democratic process at the local level and UNSMIL warmly welcomed the elections that took place in Ghat last week.
We are thus dismayed that today, in Traghen, an armed group affiliated with the “Libyan Arab Armed Forces” (LNA) , halted the elections scheduled for that municipality.
It is a fundamental human right of the citizens of Traghen, and elsewhere, to elect their municipal councils and we deeply regret that they have been prevented from exercising their rights. The Mission reminds all parties in Libya of their obligations to act in accordance with international law and calls on them to protect democratic processes across the country.
Sebha court reinstates Sebha’s elected council
Also last Tuesday, following the Tripoli government’s acceptance of the recent court decision to reinstate Sebha’s elected council, UNSMIL reported that its Acting Head, Acting, Stephanie Williams, spoke Monday with Sebha mayor al-Shawish Abdulsalam, who briefed her on the situation in Sebha and the challenges faced by the municipality.
UNSMIL said the mayor also briefed the Acting SRSG on the establishment of a Fezzan Municipalities Council. Williams pledged to set up a meeting between the UN team and Fezzan mayors to support the initiative.
It will be recalled that the internationally recognized government in Tripoli had set up a caretaker Council in Sebha to replace the elected Council which it accused of cooperating with Khalifa Hafter when Sebha was under Hafter’s control.