Guterres wants unity of the Security Council on the issue of Libya

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants unity of the Security Council on the issue of Libya, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Asked at a regular press briefing what the secretary-general thinks the Security Council needs to do now, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, said: “I think as in many cases of conflict, the most important thing that we can get from the Security Council, at minimum, is unity — unity in message to all parties to do whatever they can to stop the conflict and to think of the civilians.”

Asked whether the Security Council should demand a cease-fire, he said it is up to the council to decide.

The Security Council has so far failed to come up with any “product” — either a resolution or statement — after the sudden flare-up of the situation. Efforts to adopt a resolution in mid-April demanding a cease-fire were unsuccessful.

The self-proclaimed Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive in early April on Tripoli, the seat of the internationally recognized government of Libya.

In a briefing to the Security Council, the top UN envoy for Libya warned that the Arab country is on the verge of civil war that could lead to permanent division.

“Libya is on the verge of descending into a civil war, which could lead to the permanent division of the country. The damage already done will take years to mend, and that’s only if the war is ended now,” said Ghassan Salame, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Libya.

“This is the report whose delivery I have spent the nearly last two years trying to avoid. Forty-eight days into the attack on Tripoli by Gen. Haftar’s forces, there has already been too much death and destruction.”