Vietnam supports ending of presence of foreign fighters, mercenaries in Libya hinh anh 1Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN (Photo: VNA)
New York (VNA) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on June 18 held an Arria-formula meeting via videoconference on foreign fighters and mercenaries' impact on the Sahel region, which was co-hosted by the “A3 plus one” (Kenya, Niger, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).

The event drew the African Union (AU)'s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye, Assistant UN Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions Alexandre Zouev, and Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya Georgette Gagnon.

Participants welcomed positive developments in Libya recently and called on all relevant parties to continue to speed up the transition process in the country.

They underlined the significance of the full implementation of the UNSC’s arms embargo on Libya and the ending of the presence of foreign forces and fighters in the country in line with the UNSC's Resolution 2570, and not allowing the issue to pose negative impacts on the security situation in the Sahel region.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, stressed the need to maintain and optimise the positive trend of the current political process in Libya, heading to the success of the elections in late 2021 for peace and stability in Libya and the region.

Vietnam supports the ending of the presence of foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, he said, stressing the need to pay special attention to the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration of warriors, as well as their travelling, thus not causing negative impacts on the situation in neighbouring countries and the region.

The Vietnamese diplomat called for enhanced settlement of the root of the problem through building trust and promoting dialogue, conciliation, tolerance and enhancing mutual understanding and boosting socio-economic development for people and the community.

Anh held that it is necessary to improve coordination among UN and regional organisations as well as neighbouring countries and relevant partners, especially between the UN and the AU.

The meeting took place in the context of the ongoing peace process in Libya and recent developments in Chad, where Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno was killed in clashes with rebels invading from Libya on April 19. The ceasefire agreement reached in October 2020 by Libya’s 5 5 Joint Military Commission had required the departure of foreign fighters and mercenaries from the country within three months.

But a UN estimate released in December 2020 noted that some 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries remained active in the country. It is a threat to the ongoing peace process and the holding of elections scheduled for December 24. The departure of these foreign elements requires careful management to avoid the spread of conflict, with terrorist fighters and arms crossing “the porous borders of Sahelian countries”./.