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UN welcomes Libyan poll result, condemns violence

July 23, 2014

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of the final results of Libya’s parliamentary elections and condemned violence in the country, especially clashes between rival militias fighting for control of the capital’s international airport.

A press statement approved by all 15 council members urged all sides “to engage in political dialogue and refrain from violence and actions that challenge the stability of the state.”

Libya is witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Last week, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz warned the Security Council that “negative elements” are seriously threatening the country’s democratic transformation “and indeed are indicative of heading towards a failed state with far-reaching consequences.”

He pointed to a deteriorating economic situation mainly due to the decrease in Libya’s oil production and exports, political conflicts, the failure to build a national army or police force, conflicts among armed groups which may lead to civil war, and a deteriorating security situation due to the existence of “millions of heavy and small arms” and a growing number of radical individuals and groups.

Abdulaziz called for “a U.N. stabilization and institution-building mission for Libya” that would help build a viable government and high-quality military and police forces. It should also contribute to the protection of Libya’s oil fields, oil export ports and civil airports, he said.

“Please do take the case of Libya seriously before it is too late,” Abdulaziz appealed to the Security Council.

The council press statement made no mention of this appeal. Rwanda’s U.N. Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana, the current council president, said last week that the council would ask the U.N. Secretariat for suggestions in response to the appeal.

The council statement commended the successful June 25 parliamentary elections, despite ongoing security challenges, and urged “the expeditious seating” of the Council of Representatives so it can begin building political consensus, agree on a government and urgently seek progress on Libya’s democratic transition.

It backed work to draft a constitution “that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people to pave the way for a secure and prosperous future for Libya.”

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