Libya: country struggles on way to democracy, Mitri tells UN

Armed clashes, torture, and economic collapse

17 September, 18:40

    (ANSAmed) - TRIPOLI, SEPTEMBER 17 - More than two years after the revolution that ousted Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya still struggles on the road of democratic transition, United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) leader Tareq Mitri told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

    ''The deterioration of the security situation and the increase in divisions between political groups and revolutionary militias are an obstacle to the development of a coordinated, solid and efficient security system,'' specified Mitri, who is also UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative for Libya.

    Tensions between armed groups, tribes and political forces have degenerated into lethal clashes, rampant political assassinations (journalists, security forces, judges), attacks against diplomats, threats to the UN and general criminality, making justice and reconciliation a distant mirage, Tikri said. The detention of more than 8,000 people with links to the old regime is also ''problematic'', with numerous cases of torture, mistreatment and deaths in custody in spite of slight improvements in prison conditions. The oil sector has been paralyzed by a wave of strikes since July, blocking the country's extraction and export sites and bringing the national economy to its knees. Authorities must find a solution as soon as possible or pass the point of no return, Mitri said. On the plus side, Mitri pointed to progress on the constitutional front, as the nation's Congress has adopted a law for the election of a Constituent Assembly. The inclusive national dialogue launched by Premier Ali Zeidan in the past few months with different sectors of civil society is a platform on which it will be possible to debate key national issues and find consensus ahead of a new Constitution and new elections.(ANSAmed).

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