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Thursday, August 25, 2016

In a letter to Ban, Libyan Parliament warns of suing the UN

Libyan House of Representatives
22/08/2016 
H.E. Ban Ki Moon
Secretary General of the UN
New York

Excellency,
Further to my letter of 7 July 2016, I would like to draw your attention that the premature and unjustifiable recognition by the UN Security Council in its resolution 2259 (2015) of the Government of National Accord, before it is constituted and approved, does not give the right to the UN Secretariat to violate the Libyan Constitution and the Charter of the UN, by imposing a group of individuals on the Libyan people, under the name of the GNA to replace the legitimate government, and inviting them to represent Libya at the UN meetings.

Thousands o f Libyans sacrificed their lives to get rid o f the dictatorship and establish the rule of law. The Libyans will not accept any new dictatorship even if it comes through the UN Secretariat who chose to trample the Libyan constitutional declaration and violate the Libyan political agreement to accommodate the wish o f certain countries and their interests.

The UN is well aware that the so called GNA does not exist legally and physically. What exists is a Presidential Council designated who has not yet took oath before the Parliament, never met in full membership, and never took any decision by consensus among its nine members as provided for in the Political Agreement. Furthermore the Presidential Council is obliged by article 2 of the Governing Principles of the PA to the full commitment to the Constitutional Declaration which still gives all executive and legislative powers to the House of Representatives. This situation will continue to prevail until the Political Agreement is integrated into the Constitutional Declaration pursuant to the dispositions of the Political agreement itself.

The Presidential Council can never be the Government, nor can it be the head of a non-existing entity. The eighteen proposed ministers have not yet been approved by the House of Representatives. Four of them withdrew their names from the proposed government, while those who started working as acting ministers have no legal bases to act as ministers.

The president and the members of the Presidential Council are a group of individuals agreed upon by the participants in the Libyan political dialogue to lead, in a consensual way, a government of national accord to be formed latter, not to qe themselves the Government ofNational Accord. Thus no internal or external entity can pretend that they are the legitimate government of Libya, or they have the right to represent Libya in International Fora. Their decisions cannot be legitimate even if taken by consensus.

We agree with all that the international support to any government of national accord is needed, but it should not be an alternative to the legal and constitutional framework in effect.

The last months proved that the United Nations' unconditional and unjustifiable support to the incomplete Presidential Council has encouraged them to violate the Political Agreement and submit to the will of the armed groups in Tripoli which led to more deterioration of the security situation and the living conditions of the Libyan citizens.

Actions taken by the UN Secretariat with regard to the representation of Libya in the Organization's meetings make it part of the Libyan problem, and could complicate further the Libyan political scene, contribute to prolong the division and impede all initiatives to resolve the Libyan crisis. I f this stubborn attitude o f the UN persists the House of Representatives will be obliged to sue the United Nations before the International Court of Justice for violating the United Nations Charter and the Libyan Constitution as well as the Libyan sovereignty.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest considerations.

Agila Saleh Issa
President of the House of Representatives

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Russian Counter Draft on Aleppo: Fighting Terrorism, Cooperation with Syrian Government

The Members of the Security Council were briefed by the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura and Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien on 9 August 2016.

The members of the Security Council underscored their strong resolve to combat the terrorist threat faced by Syria by all means in accordance with their obligations under the UN Charter and international law. In this regard they called on all opposition groups to immediately disengage from terrorists, halt supporting them and engaging in their actions and recalled that, according to its counterterrorism resolutions, such support or engagement may lead to further listings under its sanctions regime.

The Members of the UN Security Council reiterate their resolve to address all aspects of the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, which has deteriorated due to the increase in terrorist activities . Members of the Security Council reiterated their call for immediate, unhindered and complete humanitarian access to all areas of Syria, the immediate lifting of all sieges, including to all areas of Aleppo – regardless of the controlling party. As one element of the comprehensive efforts to achieve this, the Members of the Security Council expressed their support for the call of Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O'Brien, that all parties abide by recurring substantial pauses in fighting to ensure sustained humanitarian deliveries via cross line and cross border convoys to Aleppo can commence safely and effectively. 

The members of the Security Council underscored the imperative to ensure the exclusively humanitarian nature of convoys and called to immediately take exhaustive measures in order to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from crossing borders and stop illegal flow of weapons into Syria.

The Members of the Security Council welcomed all initiatives aimed at improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and also stressed that any humanitarian initiative must operate according to humanitarian principles and be led by impartial humanitarian actors acting in close cooperation with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic. Any proposed humanitarian initiatives for civilians to escape the fighting must be guaranteed by all sides and independently implemented and monitored, and all civilians should be guaranteed voluntary, free movement, including the right to choose their route and destination, if they choose to leave. They stressed the need to demilitarize medical facilities, schools and other civilian objects and avoid establishing military positions in populated areas and using civilian population as human shield. Humanitarian aid must be delivered to the population wherever they may be, irrespective of whether they chose to leave or remain in Aleppo.

Тhе members of the Security Council noted with appreciation that warring parties in over 300 locations throughout Syria had signed cease-fire agreements and encouraged all sides in Aleppo to follow the suit.

The members of the security council underlined that any long-term alleviation of the dire humanitarian situation cannot be achieved without lifting unilateral sanctions imposed on the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the Humanitarian Task force of the International Syria Support Group and called on all parties to cooperate with its efforts to ensure immediate, unhindered and complete humanitarian access and the efforts of the ISSG members to revive the Cessation of Hostilities. Members of the Security Council noted that the aforementioned pauses will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council. 

The Members of the Security Council underscored that the situation will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution and reaffirmed its support for a Syrian-led political process facilitated by the United Nations.
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UK draft statement on Aleppo: Truce and immediate access

The Members of the UN Security Council reiterate their resolve to address all aspects of the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, with particular regard to the gravely deteriorating situation in Aleppo. 

The Members of the Security Council reiterated their call for immediate, unhindered and complete humanitarian access to all areas of Syria, the immediate lifting of all sieges, including to all areas of Aleppo – regardless of the controlling party.  As one element of the comprehensive efforts to achieve this, the Members of the Security Council expressed their support for the call of Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O'Brien, that all parties abide by recurring substantial pauses in fighting to ensure sustained humanitarian deliveries via cross line and cross border convoys to Aleppo can commence safely and effectively.

The Members of the Security Council also stressed that any humanitarian initiative must operate according to humanitarian principles and be led by impartial humanitarian actors. Any proposed humanitarian initiatives for civilians to escape the fighting must be guaranteed by all sides and independently implemented and monitored, and all civilians should be guaranteed voluntary, free movement, including the right to choose their route and destination, if they choose to leave. Humanitarian aid must be delivered to the population wherever they may be, irrespective of whether they chose to leave or remain in Aleppo.


The Members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the Humanitarian Task force of the International Syria Support Group and called on all parties to cooperate with its efforts to ensure immediate, unhindered and complete humanitarian access and the efforts of the ISSG members to revive the Cessation of Hostilities. Members of the Security Council noted that the aforementioned pauses will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council.
Follow me on Twitter @NabilAbiSaab