Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) welcomes the initiative to end ongoing violence and human rights violations in Libya through discussions between members of Libya’s parliament. The use of peaceful means to achieve reconciliation and address issues currently affecting the country is a progressive step. LFJL also reminds all parties involved that accountability and redress for human rights violations must form a cornerstone of any peaceful resolution.
Discussions are currently underway in Ghadames and facilitated through the support of the United Nations Special Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Talks have resulted in a united call for a complete ceasefire between opposing factions. The tabling of issues, such as the need to improve humanitarian relief and the reopening of state infrastructure, are vital steps to ensuring greater respect for human rights in Libya.
LFJL’s director, Elham Saudi, explained that “An inclusive dialogue that aims for cooperation and compromise is a vital step to finding a legitimate solution to the ongoing violence. With over 400 violent deaths reported in the previous month alone there is no time to waste in establishing a ceasefire.”
LFJL is extremely concerned by the actions of national actors who seek to obstruct the current peace efforts, including by inciting violence. It is vital that all recognise the urgent need to avoid any further bloodshed. It is also important to recognise the legitimate role for independent parties in any peaceful dialogue, negotiation, or mediation to act as facilitators. Whilst there may be justifiable room for debate and criticism of such discussions and decisions, it is important at this sensitive time to welcome them as a first step towards a peaceful resolution.
LFJL wishes to highlight the importance of ensuring that current perpetrators of human rights abuses are held accountable for their actions. The pattern of impunity following the 2011 uprising is a key cause of the current instability, and must be addressed during dialogue initiatives as a key component of any settlement.
“Measures to end impunity are vital for ensuring lasting peace. The parties to the dialogue must ensure that human rights violations are addressed and that no amnesty for such violations forms part of a settlement,” noted Elham Saudi.
LFJL urges all parties to respect the complete ceasefire, as agreed to by the parties in Ghadames, and to reinforce and encourage all efforts towards peaceful resolution of the current conflict that respects human rights.