The UN’s special envoy for Libya hailed Tuesday the momentum from leaders that has led to a “new dynamic” taking root ahead of elections planned for later this year after a five-year hiatus.
“Intensive consultations have taken place amongst security actors. Institutional and political leaders have also taken action to move the political process forward,” Abdoulaye Bathily told the Security Council.
“I urge Libyan leaders to meet the people’s expectation to choose leaders this year by delivering on all their commitments,” he added.
Key to that effort, he said, was the formation of a High National Elections Commission that has begun preparations for implementing electoral processes while awaiting laws from the legislature.
Bathily urged the government to provide the commission “with all necessary resources to complete its mandated tasks in a timely manner,” noting the UN mission and headquarters are considering the government’s request for electoral assistance.
Elections had originally been scheduled for 2018 but have been repeatedly delayed amid widespread instability. Libya’s armed forces voiced readiness April 14 to secure the upcoming polls.
On March 17, Bathily encouraged rivals to engage in talks to unify military institutions and pave the way for a safe environment to hold the long-awaited elections. Following that call, two meetings of the 5+5 joint military committee took place in April, the first in Tripoli and the second in Benghazi.
The 5+5 Joint Military Committee includes five members from the Libyan government military in western Libya and five members from rival Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces in the east.
The committee has been holding UN-sponsored meetings over the past two years to ensure a continued cease-fire and hold talks on unifying the military.
Libya has been torn by civil war and instability since the ouster of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.