Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen at the Arria Formula Meeting on “The Impact of the Departure of Foreign Fighters and Mercenaries from Libya on the Sahel Region”, June 18

19.06.2021 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

The Berlin Process provided the framework for the political dialogue between the conflict parties. On 23 October last year, Libyans reached a ceasefire agreement – a ceasefire that has been holding ever since.

Almost eight months later, the implementation of the ceasefire agreement remains insufficient: we have not seen progress with the withdrawal of foreign forces, fighters or mercenaries. A large number of armed groups, mercenaries, fighters from other conflicts who have been brought to Libya, remain active, too active – further exacerbating insecurity inside the country.

At the same time, the continued presence and uncontrolled movements of mercenaries, foreign fighters and the sheer amount of weapons proliferating in Libya and beyond have serious destabilizing effects on neighboring states and the Sahel as a whole. The raid of the FACT militia from Libya into Chad in March / April which threatened a large part of the country and its population must be a wake-up call to the international community – regional stability is at stake.

FM Heiko Maas and UNSG António Guterres have invited the participating states and regional organizations of the Berlin Process to the Second Berlin Conference on Libya next week. For the first time, the Libyan Transitional Government of National Unity will participate. One of the main topics is the orderly withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya as agreed in the ceasefire. With the conference in Berlin, we express our continued international support for the stabilization of Libya as well as the entire region.

In order to maintain the positive momentum created by the ceasefire and the political process in Libya, our message must be clear: all foreign forces, fighters and mercenaries have to leave Libya.

In order to prevent spill-over effects, the withdrawal needs to be accompanied by a clear plan and sharp timelines. They must be agreed with the external actors associated with mercenaries and foreign forces in Libya.

With its resolution 2570, the Council authorized UNSMIL to support the Libyan-led and Libyan-owned Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism that is under preparation by the Joint Military Committee. The monitoring mechanism is a crucial element for the lasting stabilization of Libya. It needs to be set up as soon as possible. Germany stands ready to support the UN efforts and the work of the Joint Military Committee!



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