The Malta Independent 19 October 2019, Saturday

Foreign Ministry reiterates call for peace in Libya

Jeremy Micallef Thursday, 9 May 2019, 09:59 Last update: about 6 months ago

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs reiterated its call for peace in Libya from April, following questions sent regarding the ongoing conflict in the region.

Earlier this week, The Malta Independent spoke with various entities involved in ongoing civil war in Libya between factions vying for power in the country.

A spokesperson from the Ministry said that Malta’s position was that a military solution is not the viable option in Libya, and they urged the parties involved to refrain from further violence and to instead opt to gather around the negotiating table.

ADVERTISEMENT

This position is in line with recent statements made by the United Nations, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, and the G7.

“Deeply saddened by the violence in and around Tripoli, as well as the resulting fatalities and displacements, Malta calls for an immediate end to the conflict and the resumption of the political process in Libya in line with the UN Recalibrated Action Plan on Libya.”

They also went on to commend the efforts of Ghassan Salame, the United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General on Libya, and his continued attempts to ensure that the Libyan people converge to discuss Libya’s roadmap towards legitimacy, stability and security.

“We are following and monitoring closely the situation on the ground via formal and informal means to safeguard the national interest.“

With regards to foreign aid, none has been discussed or agreed upon, excluding aid given in previous years that was channelled through international organisations namely International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

 

Potential increased Mediterranean crossings raising concerns

Signs and warnings from various entities point towards a dramatic uptick in crossings through the Central Mediterranean route from Libya in the recent future, due to both the turn of the season to more desirable travel conditions, and the ongoing civil war in Libya between factions vying for power in the country.

The combination of 800,000 illegal migrants noted by Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj temporarily on Libyan ground, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates of a further 230,855 internally displaced Libyans and registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya is fast reaching a Humanitarian Crisis, if not having been one for a while already.

Speaking with The Malta Independent, NGO Sea-Watch previously explained how with enough “eyes and ears” in the Central Mediterranean, they could not confirm whether there was an increase in crossings or any changes in activity.

The Sea-Watch 3 and other NGO ships have been blocked by the Dutch government citing concerns for safety of those being brought on board their vessels.

Through aerial reconnaissance, however, they said that they occasionally witness “non-assistance and/or illegal pull-backs of boats in distress to Libya, including after the fighting escalated again in Libya early April”, but they insist that they “simply do not have the full facts about how many boats were put out to sea after the fighting and if this constitutes an increase, let alone what may have happened to them”.

  • don't miss