Category Archives: Conflict

Michel statement on Libya

“I would like to thank Chancellor Merkel, and the organisers of today’s conference, for your tireless work at this critical moment in the Libyan crisis” reads the statement of the EU Council president Charles Michel, issued after the Berlin Conferenece on Libya, which took place on Sunday, January 19.

https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1218904848898449409?s=21

It is encouraging to see the most influential regional and international partners come together in support of the UN-led efforts to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

As the EU has consistently stated, the only sustainable solution is through UN mediation efforts that put the needs of all Libyan people to the forefront.

I wish to reaffirm today the commitment of the European Union to the immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya in the interest of stability in its immediate neighborhood. We support the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, and this in the interest of regional stability and prosperity – this is vital for Europe.

We have supported German-led mediation efforts launched last year in support of the UN peace process. I would like to pay special tribute to UN Special Representative Salame, who, under the authority of Secretary General Guterres, has made every effort to bring the parties to the negotiations table in order to find a political solution to the conflict.

We would like to encourage cooperation with the African Union and the League of Arab States.

In recent weeks, High Representative Borrell and I have worked to support the conclusion of a ceasefire and for the relaunch of the peace process.

We are committed to play an important role in the follow-up to the Berlin Conference. We represent Libya’s main economic partner and primary investor. Libyan youths look to Europe when they study abroad. Libya’s long term prosperity depends on these economic and cultural ties.

That is why the EU is gearing up to implement the outcome of the Berlin Conference. We are ready to mobilise our means where they are most needed.

In the short term, our contribution to the follow-up to this Conference, we are reflecting on how best to contribute to the monitoring of the ceasefire and the respect of the arms embargo. On the arms embargo, the EU was the only regional organisation to enforce it after 2016. We intend to continue that effort, working with our partners around this table, to cover all the corridors where the embargo is being violated.

In the longer term, as conditions allow, we hope to make progress in other areas of the proposed Conclusions:

political – to support a future national conference, the organisation of elections, and possible work on the constitution;
economic – actions focused on capacity building in national institutions, such as the National Oil Company, Central Bank and Libyan Investment Authority;
security sector reform (through our Common Security and Defence Policy instruments, including the existing civilian mission EUBAM);
and human rights – the EU wishes to bring its expertise.
The EU is ready to host a Senior Officials Meeting of the International Follow-up Committee tasked with implementing the Conference Conclusions. And we are ready to play an active role in the technical working groups created by this process.

Now it is time for all members of the international community to work together to consolidate the ceasefire and respect the UN arms embargo and also preserve the unity of Libya’s financial institutions on which the unity of the country itself depends.

In the past, we have shown unity on a number of these objectives. For example, thwarting illegal attempts to purchase oil outside the official circuit. In other areas, we should have done better, in particular, on the arms embargo, as highlighted by the UN in its reports.

Moving forward, we should also avoid unilateral actions, such as the signing of agreements, which exacerbate the conflict. I am aiming at the actions that are incompatible with international law and which create a pretext for external interference in the Libyan conflict. The European Union has taken an unambiguous position on this, with the conclusions of the European Council on 12 December 2019.

Today we are committed to the Berlin process and the UN mediation efforts that put the needs of the Libyan people first. Today is an important step, but much work remains to be done. We are ready to contribute.Xxxxxx

Sassoli welcomes Libya truce

“I welcome the announcement of a ceasefire in Libya between Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar. The halt to the armed conflict is the first fundamental step in the right direction” reads the statement of the presdient of the European Parliament David Sassoli (pictured).

“This is a result for which the European Union has worked hard for. I would like to thank High Representative Josep Borrell, European Council President Charles Michel, and national governments who showed unity in support of the initiative of the European Union. It is now necessary to consolidate this result and relaunch, after months of stalemate, the dialogue between the parties to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis. The European Union, under the auspices of the United Nations and within the framework of the Berlin Process, can and must play a leading role in facilitating this. Our goal is a stable Libya, democratic and free from external interference. It is not for anyone but the Libyan people themselves to decide on their future. The European Union is ready to do its part.”

In spite of the announced ceasefire in Libya, initiated by Turkey and Russia, Libyans witnessed a heavy fighting and air strikes on January 12, though both warring factions accused each other of violating the truce as military operations continued around the capital Tripoli.

Chinagodrar: 89 military perished in Niger

The death toll from the January 9 attack on Niger army base next to Chinagodrar city has risen to at least 89, four security sources said, surpassing a raid last month in Inates that killed 71 soldiers as the deadliest against Nigerien forces in years.

Commenting on the recent attack the government officials informed that 25 soldiers had been killed, according to a provisional toll, while the troops have been successfully repelling the attack by assailants close to Chinagodrar.

Later four different security sources told Reuters news agency that at least 89 members of Niger’s security forces perished in the attack were buried on January 11 in the capital, Niamey.

One source said the actual death toll was most likely higher because some soldiers were buried immediately in Chinagodrar.

Defense Minister Issoufou Kara be said that an updated death toll would be announced after a national security council meeting on Sunday.

Borrell: Libya ceasefire essential

“On Libya: recent developments show that the crisis may spiral out of control. Today, we wanted to send a strong signal of unity and engagement. We are in agreement on the need to engage more strongly before it is becoming too late” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell after the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels.


“Mr Salamé (pictured) has warned us again. He did so in the past, at previous Councils. He insisted on the fact that in Libya there are several risks, and these risks are increasing. First, the terrorism risk. The presence of fighters coming from Syria and also from Sudan is being detected more and more.

*Second, the migration risk. There are almost 700 000 people, according to his figures, coming from sub-Saharan Africa and from other countries. Most of them are working in Libya, not all of them want to go to Europe but some, depending on the situation in Libya may still will want to go because they may lose their jobs depending on the situation.
The third risk is the risk of destabilising the whole region, from Libya spreading wider to the Sahel.

And the fourth risk is a new geopolitical scheme. New actors are appearing in Libya: Russia and Turkey, and the whole geopolitical [situation] in the Central Mediterranean could be changed.
So we have a strong set of reasons to move from rhetoric to action. I have received the mandate to work in order to make our diplomatic outreach [more effective], to reach a political solution in the framework of the Berlin Process.
Hoping that the parties can reach a ceasefire – and we all will contribute to it – and hoping that the Berlin process can reach a political agreement, we will have to focus on monitoring the ceasefire, on controlling the arms embargo and other security measures, based on the experience of Operation Sophia.

“There’ is a strong agreement among [Foreign Affairs] Ministers [of the EU] to ask me to present proposals on these three points to the next Foreign Affairs Council or after an agreement on the ceasefire can be reached.
We are not going to do just an agreement for a ceasefire: if it happens and if there is an agreement – in the framework of the Berlin process, I insist – we will have to take measures in order to contribute to monitor the ceasefire and control the arms embargo.*

Kenya: Three American soldiers perished

Three Americans, among them one U.S. military servicemember and two contractors, were killed in al Shabaab militia attack on a military base in Kenya exploited by both U.S. and Kenyan forces, the army officials said, referring to Sunday events in Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu county, close to the Somali border.

The military’s Africa Command informed about the deaths and clarified that two other Americans who are working for the U.S. Department of Defense were wounded during the attack

The wounded Americans are currently in stable condition and being evacuated,” Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement.

Tripoli: Borrell condemns violence

Recent developments in Libya indicate that an escalation of violence around Tripoli could be imminent. We condemn attacks such as Saturday’s strike against the military school, which only bring more violence and human suffering” reads the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell.

Today it is more urgent than ever to work genuinely towards a political solution to the crisis in Libya. The European Union calls on all sides to engage in a political process under the leadership of the United Nations. The European Union will continue to deploy all efforts towards finding a peaceful and political solution to this process.”

AMENDED:

EU calls Libyan to cease military actions

“In the light of the ongoing escalations in Libya, especially around Tripoli, the European Union reiterates its call on all Libyan parties to cease all military actions and resume the political dialogue. There is no military solution to the crisis in Libya. The only way to settle it must be a political one, negotiated on the basis of the proposals recently put forward by the United Nations” reads the statement of European External Action Service press person.

“All members of the international community should observe and respect the UN arms embargo. The EU strongly supports the efforts of United Nations Special Representative Ghassan Salamé and the Berlin process, as the only avenue towards relaunching the Libyan political process and to rebuild a peaceful, stable and secure Libya.

“All participants to the Berlin process should engage constructively in bringing about a peaceful resolution to the conflict, that preserves Libyan sovereignty and is negotiated in the interest of all Libyans. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell, is committed to reinforce EU’s diplomatic efforts in this regard and to continue reaching out to international partners.”

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