Delegate: Jasmyne Bush
School: Williamston High School
Ever since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been a powder keg. The country of Libya has failed to uphold the expectations of the 2011 Arab Spring because of ongoing civil wars. The peak of the conflict can be broken into two distinct parts – the 2011 Revolution and Civil War which led to the removal of Gaddafi, and a Second Civil War which broke out in 2014. Other countries in the region have been pulled into the conflict, either actively or through expressions of support – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Sudan, and Jordan on the side of the HoR, and Turkey and possibly Qatar on the side of the GNA. Thousands of Libyans have been left internally displaced, many without access to basic services like electricity, water and healthcare. And today, lacking formal a single unified government, militias and armed groups, many with links to one of the two competing governments, exert control over large swaths of the country performing unlawful killings, acts of violence, disappearances, seizure of property and arbitrary detention. These forms of so-called “justice” exists while the official courts and legal system are largely too weak to function in a fair or timely manner. Abuse by these groups is not limited to Libyans, but has also affected refugees and migrants traveling through Libya’s borders, seeking safety and asylum in Europe.
Just recently, a Fijian citizen was killed in a bomb attack in Benghazi, Libya. Seniloli Tabuatausole, was working for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya at the time of his death. He and two colleagues died when the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a car bomb outside a shopping mall. Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Satyendra Prasad, said Mr. Tabuatausole was a proud Fijian who gave the ultimate sacrifice in supporting UN operations in some of the most difficult regions of the world.Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who is attending the Pacific Island Leaders meeting in Tuvalu, said his nation’s outsized role at the UN sometimes came with outsized sacrifices. The UN condemned the attack but said it would not evacuate its staff from Libya. The Security Council convened an emergency session in New York to discuss the latest developments in Libya.
Because a Fijian was harmed during said Libyan crisis, it is critical to stop it by any means necessary. Through diplomatic action and bilateral support, Fiji with the European Union (EU) is helping Libya return to peace and resume its political transition towards a stable, secure and prosperous country. The EU is the biggest donor of humanitarian aid and provides bilateral assistance, with measures tailored to the needs of the Libyan people in the areas of governance, health, civil society, youth and education, mediation and stability. Its CSDP civilian and military missions are assisting the Libyans in fighting smuggling and trafficking and addressing security challenges. The EU has been working closely with the UN, in particular on migration management, by supporting the UN Agencies’ work on protection and assistance of migrants, refugees and internally displaced people. Since the war erupted again in Tripoli in April 2019, the EU has redoubled its efforts to convince the Libyan, regional and international stakeholders that the only solution to the crisis is a lasting ceasefire and a return to political negotiations. Fiji can accept internally displaced people from Libya. The UNHCR will cover these displaced people by ensuring funding to Fiji to them.
- Jasmyne Bush