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A United Nations envoy told the Security Council yesterday that the International and well-coordinated support is vital to helping Libya through its democratic transition.

“Libya faces the risk of embarking on a new trajectory of unprecedented violence,” Tarek Mitri, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said in his briefing to the 15-member body.

Mr. Mitri has been heading the UN’s efforts to assist the Libyan Government and people as they undergo a democratic transition following the toppling of former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi three years ago.
Recent months have witnessed worsening security and political divisions which threaten to undermine the country’s transition.

Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi

He recalled that, on 2 March, the General National Congress building was stormed by protestors demanding its dissolution. About 150 young men ransacked the main chamber and assaulted members, four of whom were injured.

“Intense efforts to resolve differences and negotiate an agreement on the management of the transitional period, including the future of the General National Congress and the Government, have not succeeded in bringing an end to the divisions that have paralysed the political process,” noted Mitri.
“Considerable differences remain over holding both parliamentary and presidential elections, and the extent of powers to be granted to a future president.”

The previous three months have witnessed a “dramatic” increase in violence across the country, he stated. This includes violence in Sabha in the south that resulted in over 100 fatalities, including children and the elderly, as well as the displacement of hundreds of families and shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies.

In the east, the unabated campaign of targeted assassinations, bombings and abductions in Benghazi has reached “intolerable” levels. Many victims have been security and judicial personnel. But civilians have also suffered unchecked terror and intimidation.