Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Williams Tells ‘Obstructers' in Libya ‘Enough Means Enough’

Williams Tells ‘Obstructers' in Libya ‘Enough Means Enough’

Monday, 13 June, 2022 - 07:15
Meeting of the third and final round of the Libyan constitutional talks in Cairo (Office of the UN Advisor on Libya)

UN Special Advisor on Libya Stephanie Williams urged Libyans on Sunday to put down weapons and stop intimidating civilians, pointing out to what she said are "spoilers" who aim to disrupt the delicate political operation through the use of force.

Williams was speaking at the third and final round of the constitutional talks in Cairo held between members of the Constitutional Process Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR) and the High Council of State (HCS) on constitutional amendments for elections.

"My message is clear to the obstructionists and those who want to disrupt this delicate political process through the use of force, you must stop, and you must put aside your weapons and stop intimidating civilians… enough is enough,” she said.

Williams stressed that the latest round of committee meetings comes at a critical juncture in Libya, after 11 years of divisions, vulnerability, conflict, chaos and polarization, which has strained the Libyans.

“You have a real opportunity and a truly great responsibility to revive their hope and give them a path leading to elections within a strong constitutional framework,” she told participants.

The UN advisor also stressed that the international community is fully supportive of the two sides’ efforts and is ready to welcome and endorse a positive outcome that would put the electoral process back on track.

Lawmakers from Libya’s east-based parliament and the High Council of State, an advisory body from western Libya, began the UN-brokered negotiations amid international pressure on the two chambers to put their disputes aside and agree on the election’s legal basis.

Abdullah Bliheg, the parliament's spokesman, said the third round of the constitutional meetings in Cairo, under the auspices of the UN mission, aims at reaching an agreement on the amendment of controversial points in the draft constitution.

The meeting came while the head of the Presidential Council Mohamed Al-Manfi said those who endanger the lives of civilians and tamper with private and public property will expose themselves to legal prosecution.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry in the Government of National Unity, said it started investigating the clashes that erupted between armed groups in Libya's capital last week.

Heavy exchanges of gunfire and explosions ricocheted across several districts of Tripoli on Friday, according to an AFP journalist, while images broadcast by local press showed civilians fleeing heavily-trafficked areas.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, Bashir Al-Amin, condemned these clashes, which he said terrorized citizens who were inside parks, gardens and beaches in the center of Tripoli.

The next day, Manfi discussed by phone with the US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland the security situation in the country, especially in the capital, and the importance that all parties commit to calm and the country’s best interest.

He also tackled the security situation with Williams.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, expressed his great alarm over the clashes that took place in the Libyan capital.

Editor Picks