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Official speeches and statements - December 24, 2021

Published on December 24, 2021

1. Libya - Statement by the spokespersons of the foreign ministries of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States (December 24, 2021)

France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States welcome the statement of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser (SASG) on Libya, Stephanie Williams on December 23 and commend the work of the SASG to engage in broad consultations across Libya over the past ten days. We express our strong support for the ongoing efforts of the United Nations Support mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to further a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process towards the holding of free, fair and inclusive elections.

We take note of the High National Electoral Commission’s (HNEC) statement of December 22 on the postponement of the ballot scheduled December 24 and its proposal for a new early date on which to hold those elections. We call on the relevant Libyan authorities to respect the aspirations of the Libyan people for prompt elections by swiftly determining a final date for the polling and issuing the final list of presidential candidates without delay.

We commend the technical and logistical preparation already undertaken by HNEC for the holding of elections as stipulated in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum roadmap and endorsed in UNSC resolution 2570 (2021), as well as the conclusions of the second Berlin conference of June 23, 2021 and during the Paris International Conference for Libya of November 12, 2021. We recall that free, fair and credible elections will allow the Libyan people to elect a representative and unified government, and reinforce the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya. It is important that momentum towards these goals is maintained.

In line with the Paris declaration, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States recall their understanding that the transfer of power from the current interim executive authority to the new executive authority shall take place following the announcement of the results of such early and prompt parliamentary and presidential elections. To avoid conflicts of interests and to promote a level playing field, candidates holding roles in public institutions should also continue vacating them until the announcement of the electoral results.

We reiterate UNSMIL’s call for disagreements on emerging political or military matters to be resolved without resorting to violence. We stand ready to hold to account those who threaten the stability or undermine the political and electoral process in Libya, through violence, or the incitement of violence. We affirm that individuals or entities, inside or outside Libya, who obstruct, undermine, manipulate or falsify the electoral process and the political transition will be held accountable and may be designated by the United Nations sanctions committee in accordance with UNSC resolution 2571. We commit to respecting the UN-facilitated, Libyan-led and owned political process and urge all other international actors to do the same.

2. Mali - Statement on the deployment of the Wagner group in Mali (December 23, 2021)

We, the international partners committed to supporting Mali and its people in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace and stability and combat terrorism, firmly condemn the deployment of mercenary troops on Malian territory. This deployment can only further deteriorate the security situation in West Africa, lead to an aggravation of the Human Rights situation in Mali, threaten the Agreement for peace and reconciliation in Mali resulting from the Algiers process, and hamper the efforts of the international community to ensure the protection of civilians and to provide support to the Malian armed forces.

We deeply regret the choice of the Malian transitional authorities to use already scarce public funds to pay foreign mercenaries instead of supporting the Malian Armed Forces and public services to the benefit of the Malian people.

We are aware of the involvement of the Russian Federation government in providing material support to the deployment of the Wagner group in Mali and call on Russia to revert to a responsible and constructive behavior in the region.

We recall ECOWAS decisions and their concern about the risk of instability for the region should private security companies deploy in Mali, (sixtieth ordinary session in Abuja, December 12, 2021). We also recall the adoption by the European Union of a set of restrictive measures against the Wagner group itself, and against eight associated individuals and three entities connected to it (Foreign Affairs Council on December 13, 2021) involved in serious human rights abuses, including torture and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings, or in destabilizing activities in some of the countries they operate in.

We will not give up our efforts to address the needs of the Malian population. In line with the objectives of the international Coalition for the Sahel, we reaffirm our commitment to continuing efforts to protect civilians, to support the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and help build long-term stability by supporting sustainable development, respect for human rights and the deployment of public services. We will continue to closely follow and assess the situation.

We urge the Malian transitional authorities to undertake reforms and to restore constitutional order, through the timely preparation and organization of elections, as they have committed to before the Malian people, ECOWAS and the international community. We fully support recent decisions by ECOWAS in that regard.

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