Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Briefing on the situation in Libya, 10 June 2019

Mr President

South Africa thanks Secretary General for his report on the implementation of the Resolution 2420 on the arms embargo. We thank the United Kingdom as a penholder for facilitating this process.

My delegation remains deeply concerned that the current military operations in Libya are reportedly being reinforced by the transfer of arms into the country, including by sea and land.

We are further concerned by the suspension of Operation Sophia’s naval assets which were crucial to the implementation of the arms embargo resolution at high seas.  Furthermore we encourage regional cooperation in the implementation of the arms embargo resolution.

Mr President

It is two months since the crisis started in Libya without any respect for this Council’s calls for a ceasefire by all parties to the conflict. The worsening security and humanitarian situation in Tripoli is fuelled by the constant supply of arms.  South Africa reiterates that there is no military solution to Libya. It is through a National Dialogue process that the conflict can be resolved as such we encourage compromise, cooperation and a spirit of reconciliation by all the parties in Libya.

Mr President

We strongly urge member states to fully implement the arms embargo measures, which are of immediate importance to the protection of civilians and the restoration of security and stability in Libya and the region.

Lastly, South Africa wishes to reiterate that sanctions are a tool to advance a political process or facilitate a change in the political process and should not affect the provision of humanitarian assistance. We therefore support the adoption of Resolution 2473 and hope that all member states will adhere to its implementation.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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