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On Libya, US & UN's Kobler Condemns Zliten Attack, Says Shows Need for GNA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 7, more here -- Before the UN Security Council met about Libya, hearing a briefing from new envoy Martin Kobler on December 11, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft about a critique of the pending "foreign-dominated" deal. Rycroft said the deal was not rushed, among other things. Periscope here.

After the open meeting, Inner City Press asked Libya's long time diplomat Ibrahim Dabbashi if the deal would be signed. He said yes, but wondered if it would be endorsed by the GNC. He said the Libyan Army should still be supported. (Since then Inner City Press' sources have told it of Dabbashi, who has always answered Press questions at least in person, being "dis-accredited" by the HoR, yet to be confirmed. We hope to hear from Dabbashi himself on this.)

On January 7, the US issued this statement: "The United States strongly condemns the January 7 bombing at a security training center in Zliten, Libya, as well as the attacks since January 4 on the oil terminals in Es Sidra and Ras Lanouf.  Today’s attack - which targeted young people attending a graduation ceremony- reportedly killed as many as 65 people and injured many others.  We extend our condolences to the families of those killed and injured.  Violent extremists including ISIL-affiliated groups threaten all Libyans throughout the country.  With their attacks on oil fields, they are threatening resources that belong to the Libyan people and that all Libyans must strive to protect for future generations.

These incidents stress again the urgent need for Libya’s new leaders to formalize the Government of National Accord (GNA), as outlined in the Libyan Political Agreement. This is a vital step to address the country’s critical humanitarian, economic, and security challenges.

The United States stands ready to help the new Presidency Council and other Libyan leaders implement the Libyan Political Agreement. We are committed to providing the unified government full political backing and technical, economic, security and counter-terrorism assistance."

Earlier on January 7, Kobler issued this (near identical) statement: "The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Martin Kobler, strongly condemns the deadly terrorist attack today on a security training centre in Zliten.

SRSG Kobler said: “I am shocked at this reprehensible terrorist attack.  I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wish those injured a speedy recovery. This heinous act once again shows that urgent progress is required towards the formation of the Government of National Accord and the activation and rebuilding of Libyan security forces.” The United Nations in consultation with the local health authorities is ensuring that the needed medical supplies are available.

The Special Representative urges Libyans to put their differences aside and unite to confront the scourge of terrorism. “This attack comes at a time when fighting is still going on at oil facilities in Sidra. Libya cannot afford to remain divided in the face of such serious terrorist threat.”


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