By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, August 26, more here -- After the UN's envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon briefed the UN Security Council about his political agreement still without the Tripoli-based General National Congress, and Libya's Ibrahim Dabbashi chided Council members about Al Qaeda, the Security Council agreed on Elements to the Press read out by President for August Joy Ogwu, below. Periscope video here.
When Ogwu finished reading out the Press Elements, she was asked a series of questions... about South Sudan. The failures on Libya were forgotten, or no longer news at least at the UN. Inner City Press asked Ogwu if in consultations the Council members had discussed Dabbashi's critique, that Al Qaeda is more of a problem than ISIS or Daesh. We do not discriminate between terrorist groups, Ogwu said. There was less of an answer on South Sudan (Inner City Press' South Sudan coverage is online here.)
Leon among other things said that "there can be no doubt that the danger posed by Daesh to Libya and the Libyan people is real, imminent and palpable. Libyan security and military actors, as well as political stakeholders on either side of the divide, are fully cognizant of the danger posed by Daesh-affiliated militants. However, they must recognize that no strategy aim at containing, if not eliminating, the Daesh threat will be viable unless it is part of a concerted, unified and coordinated effort that brings all Libyans together under a single banner whose allegiance is to the Libyan State, and to a Government that is inclusive and representative of all Libyans.
“Although the General National Congress in Tripoli did not initial the main text of the Libyan Political Agreement along with other dialogue participants on July 11, I am confident that their concerns can be addressed in ongoing discussions on the annexes of the Agreement, including those pertaining to the formation of the Government of National Accord.
“I am increasingly confident that the process is finally drawing to its final stages. Time is running out. the onus is on Libya's leaders on all sides, and at all levels, to make that final push towards peace. Equally important, the international community must also move quickly to present a clearly articulated strategy in support of the Libyan State and the efforts by the Government of National Accord to contain and eliminate the threat that groups like Daesh are posing not only to the stability of Libya, but equally to regional and international security."
[The UN Spokesperson's office did not until 1 pm have a copy of Leon's 10 am speech - and even then, still "check against delivery," as noted and questioned by the Free UN Coalition for Access, FUNCA.]
From the Security Council's August 26 Elements to the Press, as fast transcribed by InnerCityPro:
“Security Council members noted the progress in the political process as well as the local ceasefire initiatives in some parts of Libya. They however expressed their concern about deterioration in the political, security and humanitarian situation. Council members underscored that only an inclusive and representative government can resolve the political and security challenges inside the country.
“In particular Council members expressed concern about expansion of extremism by ISIL and other terrorist groups. They expressed support for the ongoing peace process that aims to establish a government of national unity. In this regard they welcomed the initialing of the Agreement of 11 of July, 2015 as a critical step toward peace and stability in the country. They urged those parties that are yet to sign to do so without delay.
“Council members urged the international community to continue to support the political process in Libya in order to achieve a lasting peace. In the connection, they highlighted the importance of close cooperation between the African Union, the UN, the EU, the Arab League and other international organizations."
The reference to the African Union, given the Security Council having rebuffed the AU back in 2011, is particularly noteworthy.
Then followed this Q&A:
Q: on South Sudan, yesterday you said the Council would act if Kiir didn’t sign…
A: Today is not September 1 yet. The offer is good until September 1.
Q: Yesterday you said the date had been moved forward.
A: No contradiction. The deadline was September 1. He was going to anticipate that to sign earlier than September 1.
Q: So what does immediately mean?
A: We’ll meet.
Q: Are you giving him until September 1 too…
A: He has a room to play.
Q: He signed with reservations.
A: There is room to play because he has to convene on that.
Inner City Press: On Libya, ambassador Dabbashi had a blistering critique and asked the SC to live up to their duty to fight. Any response?
A: No. We did not discriminate amongst terrorist groups. Terrorism is terrorism.
Q: On South Sudan, are you disappointed?
A: We will discuss South Sudan later.
Q: Will there be a meeting on it?