World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Mercenaries And Related Private Contractors Must Leave Libya To Pave Way For Peace, Elections – UN Experts

GENEVA (30 July 2021) – UN experts* today called for all mercenaries and mercenary-related private contractors to leave Libya, saying their departure is long overdue, and is a vital precondition to peaceful elections scheduled for later this year.

“Nine months after the ceasefire agreement calling for withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, mercenaries and private military and security contractors continue to operate in the country,” said Jelena Aparac, chair of the UN’s Working Group on the use of mercenaries.

“Their continued recruitment and presence in Libya impedes progress in the peace process and constitutes an obstacle for the upcoming elections.”

Well-trained and well-armed private contractors from Russia, Syria, Sudan and Chad operating in Libya, some of whom meet the criteria for mercenaries, could also negatively affect the security and stability of other countries in the region, the experts warned.

The experts stressed that these mercenary and mercenary-related actors must leave immediately, and there must be an immediate end to the transfer of military weapons and materiel into Libya.

“We appeal to the international community to take concrete steps to aid this process,” Aparac said.

In the UN-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, participants agreed on a roadmap to credible, inclusive and democratic national elections, to be held on 24 December 2021.

“If elections are to be held in December 2021 as scheduled, Libyans should be able to undertake that process in a safe and secure environment, and the presence of these actors impedes that,” Aparac said.

In June 2020, the UN Working Group warned that reliance on mercenaries and related actors since 2019 had contributed to escalation of the conflict in Libya and undermined the peace process, which was a breach of the existing arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council. At that time, they urged governments to investigate all allegations of human rights violations and humanitarian law violations.

“A year on, and looking forward to elections, we remain concerned that any political process aiming to establish sustainable peace has to include a genuine commitment to human rights,” the experts said. “There must be real accountability for abuses committed by mercenaries, mercenary-related actors, and private contractors.”


*The Working Group on the use of mercenaries is comprised of five independent experts: Jelena Aparac ( Chair Rapporteur), Lilian Bobea, Sorcha MacLeod, Chris Kwaja and Ravindran Daniel.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN Report: Most Agricultural Funding Distorts Prices, Harms Environment

Around 87% of the $540 billion in total annual government support given worldwide to agricultural producers includes measures that are price distorting and that can be harmful to nature and health... More>>

UN: Support Afghans In Their Most Perilous Hour, Urges Guterres
The international community should urgently offer a “lifeline” to millions of vulnerable Afghans “who face perhaps their most perilous hour”, the UN Secretary-General said on Monday...More>>

Commonwealth: Championing Climate-vulnerable Small States At COP26

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called for urgent action to ensure improved climate resilience of small states and promised to amplify the concerns of small and other vulnerable states around climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference...

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: More Than 130 Countries Expected To Announce National Commitments At UN Food Systems Summit
The Heads of State and Government from more than 90 countries are expected to announce their commitments to transform food systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at the historic UN Food Systems Summit next week... More>>

UN: Only 2% Of Covid-19 Vaccines Have Been Administered In Africa

More than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of them in Africa, said World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday... More>>

UN: Climate Action Essential To Cool ‘Season Of Fire And Floods’ Worldwide

With extreme weather events increasingly impacting countries across the world, the deputy UN chief on Monday underlined the importance of limiting temperature rise to the internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels... More>>