Panafrican News Agency

Libyan newspapers highlight results of the Berlin II Conference, departure of mercenaries

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - Libyan newspapers this week have extensive coverage to the Berlin II Conference on Libya, focusing on its results, particularly on the thorny issue of the departure of mercenaries

They highlighted the refusal of some countries to promote the evacuations, and echoed the reactions of the Libyan civil society to the Berlin II conference.

Under the title "Berlin II, Libyan presence and lack of implementation guarantees", Al-Wassat newspaper reports that after days of waiting and anticipation, the Berlin Conference in its second edition ended with 57 points, the most important of which is adhering to the date of the elections (24 December, 2021), as defined by the roadmap of the Libyan political dialogue.

The consolidation of the ceasefire agreement, the unification of the institutions of executive and a fair distribution of wealth were also highlighted in Berlin.

The conference strongly demanded the departure of mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya, the need to fight against human rights violations and the acceleration of the adoption of a constitutional law for the polls, the newspaper added.

It reported the "arrangements" between Russia and Turkey regarding the withdrawal of "fighters" in the absence of "guarantees" of their implementation.

According to Al-Wassat, the participants avoided adopting judicial sanctions against those obstructing the adoption of the constitutional basis pending the outcome of the meeting of the Political Forum members in Geneva next week.

Al-Wassat newspaper reported that the Conference tried to avoid falling back into what can be called the "Berlin 1" trap in January 2020, when no reference to binding measures was made and foreign troops continued to strengthen their presence.

The two main objectives were to secure the participation of 17 countries in the consultations, including the US, Germany, France, the UAE and Egypt, the UK, Morocco, Algeria and four regional and international organisations, and to demand an international commitment to the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign forces from Libyan territory, and to postpone the December elections.

Libya joined the conference, this time, represented by its Prime Minister, Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Najla Al-Mangoush, the newspaper recalled, adding that in his speech at the conference, Al-Dbaiba called for international support for the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign forces from the country, as the security situation threatens to compromise the political transition.

The newspaper quoted him as saying that "there are security problems regarding the political process based on the direct arms control of mercenaries in some regions, the presence of military forces with a political dimension in a number of Libyan regions and the presence of some terrorist elements".

The newspaper concluded by indicating that the Berlin II Conference ended without answering many questions -- what is new compared to Berlin I and what are the guarantees that its recommendations will be implemented?

Echoing the reaction of the Libyan civil society to the outcome of Berlin II, the newspaper, Afrigatenews, reported that the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya, an NGO, welcomed the outcome of the Conference, which supports the implementation of the roadmap to restore stability, achieve peace, organise presidential and parliamentary elections and expel foreign forces, mercenaries and military experts present in Libya.

The newspaper said the NGO also stressed the need to hold elections on the date set, saying this is the main way to end the legacy of a decade of chaos and divisions that the Libyan people have suffered.

It said, however, that the crisis had led to the formation of a legitimate, elected and sustainable government, a national authority capable of overcoming the obstacles and challenges facing Libya.

A three-day preliminary meeting of the members of the Libyan political dialogue forum started on Thursday in Tunisia under the auspices of the UN Support Mission to fine-tune the decision that will emerge from the June 28-July 1 meeting in Switzerland.

The National Human Rights Commission in Libya called on the government of national unity to take concrete steps to prepare the enabling environment for the December polls.

These include the improvement of the humanitarian situation, the establishment of security and stability, and the provision of basic services, as well as to take steps to support, technically and financially, the High National Electoral Commission, as stipulated in the roadmap drawn up by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

On reactions of some African countries to the presence of mercenaries in Libya, Al-Wassat newspaper said a regional trend has emerged to resist plans by Libya and the international community for the departure of mercenaries and foreign fighters.

It described these actions as "time bombs" capable of shattering the gains already made in Libya.

While they believe that sending the mercenaries back to their countries will be a key to restoring stability in Libya, the interim national accord government has only taken up this challenge by asking its "neighbours" to seek joint solutions.

The UN has urged Sudan and Chad to put in place an orderly withdrawal process, the newspaper reported. Three countries geographically close to Libya and an African bloc have made no secret of their conservative stance on the practical framework being prepared with international support to expel all foreign fighters and mercenaries.

Al-Wasat reported that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which comprises 15 member states, used its meeting to review what it described as "the destabilising effects of the expulsions of mercenary groups from Libya", calling for concerted international action to address the problem as a matter of urgency.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Al-Wassat, shares the same "grave concern" with his colleagues in the group, preferring that "neighbouring countries develop ways to contain or manage the movements of these fighters".

He warned that the decision has created new security threats in the region, according to Al-Wassat.

-0- PANA BY/IS/BBA/VAO 27June2021