Motion for a resolution - B8-0169/2016Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Libya

29.1.2016 - (2016/2537(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Pavel Telička, Petras Auštrevičius, Dita Charanzová, Gérard Deprez, Filiz Hyusmenova, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Javier Nart, Norica Nicolai, Urmas Paet, Jozo Radoš, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic, Ivo Vajgl, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Renate Weber, Nedzhmi Ali on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0146/2016

Procedure : 2016/2537(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Libya


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Libya, in particular those of 15 September 2011[1], 22 November 2012[2], 18 September 2014[3] and 15 January 2015[4],

–  having regard to Council Decision 2013/233/CFSP of 22 May 2013 creating the European Union Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya)[5],

–  having regard to the recent statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, on Libya, including those of 7, 11 and 18 January 2016,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on Libya of 18 January 2016,

–  having regard to the Libyan Political Agreement signed on 17 December 2015,

–  having regard to the Rome Communiqué of 13 December 2015,

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2259, adopted unanimously on 23 December 2015,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 July 2015 on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy[6],

–  having regard to the national conference of Libyan tribes held in Tripoli in July 2011, which called for a law of general amnesty to end the civil war,

–  having regard to the statement of support for a Government of National Accord in Libya issued by the Governments of Algeria, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Libya is a country composed of three traditional parts (Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica) which became an independent kingdom in 1951; whereas a military coup led by Gaddafi overthrew the King in 1969; whereas the brutal suppression of dissent then followed in the name of the ‘Libyan Revolution’ under a despotic regime which lasted 42 years; whereas, under Gaddafi’s dictatorship, Libya was the largest arsenal on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and became a major source of illicit weapons trade and traffic, and a supply zone for all terrorists and extremists in the Sahel area (Mali, Niger, Nigeria);

B.  whereas, in the context of the ‘Arab Spring’, Libyans took to the streets in February 2011 for nine months of civil conflict; whereas NATO supported the insurgents who faced indiscriminate state repression, and this support triggered the ousting of the Gaddafi regime; whereas in the aftermath of the uprising and with the end of the Gaddafi dictatorship, the public withdrawal of allegiance to the government by several tribal leaders, the defection of field and general officers (such as Abdel Fattah Younes and Suleiman Mahmoud) and the looting of army arsenals are the main causes of the emergence and proliferation of tribal militia groups throughout the three regions of the country;

C.  whereas Libyan society was always – before and particularly after the coup – organised on the basis of a tribal system composed of about 140 tribes divided into 30 main tribes/ethnic coalitions; whereas the general council of the tribe is responsible for both its spiritual and political orientation; whereas tribal alliances among the ethnic identities (the majority Arabs and the Amazigh, Toubou and Tuareg minorities) continue to play a significant role in the turmoil of present-day Libya;

D.  whereas Islamist groups formed part of most of the militias that fought against Gaddafi and some played a key role in the conflict under leaders such as Ismail al-Salabi, commander of the February 17th Brigade based in Benghazi, or Abdelhakim Belhadj, the head of the Tripoli Military Council; whereas the leaders of such groups are members of the rebel leadership council, the National Transitional Council (NTC), which took over the running of the country in October 2011; whereas the NTC had to struggle to impose order on the many armed militia that had become active in the months leading up to the ousting of Gaddafi;

E.  whereas in August 2012 the NTC handed power to the General National Congress (GNC), an elected parliament which went on to select an interim head of state; whereas the central government has been weak and unable to exert its authority over the country; whereas voters chose a new parliament to replace the GNC in June 2014 in the form of the Council of Representatives (CoR), which relocated to Tobruk; whereas the former GNC, which was dominated by Islamists, reconvened shortly afterwards and selected its own Prime Minister, challenging the authority of the CoR at a time of fighting during which even the capital Tripoli changed hands;

F.  whereas since August 2014 these two political bodies (the CoR in Tobruk, which is recognised by the international community, and the New GNC which has imposed itself in Tripoli) both claim to be the government running the country, and both are backed by several heavily armed militias affiliated to regions, cities and tribes from various backgrounds; whereas the two administrations are essentially at war with each other in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, and both are working to instigate and support tribal and ethnic unrest within the neglected Fezzan region; whereas the local tribes in Fezzan, especially the Toubou and Tuareg, are worried about their future following the Libyan Political Agreement, as they dread certain leaked provisions of the draft future Libyan Constitution, having not been fully involved in its drafting;

G.  whereas fragmentation, polarisation and a lack of legitimacy have dogged the political landscape of the country which is marked by splits between regions and tribes, between cities and political and religious groups, between generations, and between old and new elites that crisscross in sometimes volatile combinations and alliances; whereas this situation is the main cause of the southern region of Libya’s rapid descent into violent chaos with continuous proxy clashes between the Toubou and Tuareg instigated by the local Ouled Slimane and Zawiya Arab tribes whose leaders are in the north of the country; whereas negotiators do not seem unduly worried by this situation (local conflicts in Fezzan) and the fact that remnant groups of Gaddafi’s forces have reorganised after their early disarray (and are present in Beni Walid, Benghazi, Sirte and Sebha);

H.  whereas the vacuum left by the weakness of the two rival governments is gradually being filled by Libyan Islamists who are returning home from fighting in Iraq and Syria; whereas these returnees accompanied by Islamists from other countries seized the city of Derna to the east of Benghazi in November 2014 and made a pledge of allegiance to Daesh; whereas these forces or their allies have since become active along almost the whole coastline from Derna to Tripoli, including Bayda, Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Abugrein and Misrata, with full control of more than 200 km around Sirte, and they also have a training base to the west of Tripoli near the Tunisian border; whereas Daesh has launched a local campaign of terror – with beheadings, shootings and bombings – while expanding its territory, has taken control of the road and can hinder east-west connections;

I.  whereas Libya has become home to the largest Daesh forces outside of the Middle East and forms a Daesh bridgehead on the Mediterranean south coast, posing a very dangerous threat to neighbouring countries in the Sahel and Sahara, as well as to Europe through terrorist actions; whereas Daesh has launched several indiscriminate attacks targeting civilians in Benghazi, Ajdabiya and Derna, and was responsible for a particularly murderous truck-bomb blast outside a police training camp in Zliten on 7 January 2016; whereas since 4 January 2016 Daesh has aimed to expand its war chest by occupying and controlling the huge eastern oil facilities at al-Sidra, Ras Lanuf and Marsa al-Brega;

J.  whereas Libya has become the location of choice for smugglers since its plunge into anarchy, with 170 000 migrants reaching Lampedusa alive in 2014, while more than 3 770 died in the Mediterranean in 2015 according to the IOM;

K.  whereas, given the challenges facing Libya, there is no time to waste in establishing a Government of National Accord which will work for the benefit of all Libyan people and will lay the foundations for peace, stability, reconstruction and development of the country;

L.  whereas a safe and politically stable Libya is an absolute necessity not only for Libyan citizens, but also for the security of the entire region and the European Union;

1.  Warmly welcomes the UN-backed Libyan Political Agreement signed on 17 December 2015, fully supports the Presidential Council, and congratulates the UNSMIL and both the former and current Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General for their extremely hard work;

2.  Regrets the rejection of the first proposal for a unified government by the CoR in Tobruk, but expects the two main Libyan bodies to endorse this deal which meets the aspiration to take the path of peace; calls on all the members of the two rival parliaments in Tobruk and Tripoli to seize the opportunity offered by the Libyan Political Agreement to establish peace and stability in the country and defend all Libyan citizens;

3.  Confirms its intention to recognise and support the Government of National Accord formed by consensus between the Libyan parties as the sole legitimate government of Libya;

4.  Emphasises Libyan ownership of the political process and the importance of its continued inclusiveness, including through the constructive involvement of the tribal councils, the positive participation of women and civil society, and the beneficial contributions made by political and local actors towards the timely amendment and adoption of a constitution that respects democracy, human rights and civil liberties;

5.  Calls on the international community, the UN, the EU, the AU and the Arab League member states to stand ready to support Libyans in their efforts to successfully implement the agreement; expects the Member States and international institutions to cease official contacts with any persons not belonging to or not party to the Libyan Political Agreement; calls on neighbouring countries to contribute to the stability of Libya; stresses the need to protect the critical infrastructure of harbours, airports, oil wells and pipelines;

6.  Congratulates the EU on having already made available a 100-million-euro package and on its readiness to offer immediate support in areas that will be prioritised together with the new Libyan Government of National Accord once formed; calls on the EU and the UN to line up assistance for state building, security and peacekeeping, as well as training in implementing emergency and disaster response capabilities, respect for human rights and the rule of law;

7.  Strongly condemns the terrorist attacks by Daesh against the oil infrastructures in al-Sidra and Ras Lanuf, as well as the suicide bombing in Zliten and any attempt to disrupt the process of stabilisation in the country; expresses the right and duty to assist the new Libyan authorities in the fight against Daesh and all terrorists until their total extinction; calls for an international coalition to address the growing presence of Daesh in Libya, which not only poses a threat to neighbouring Sahel and Saharan countries, but also to EU Member States;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Union for the Mediterranean, the League of Arab States, the Council of the African Union and the Secretary General of the UN.