Dear friends and partners,
Today marks the first anniversary of the launch of the LNA offensive on Tripoli. This happened at a time when we were looking forward to the UNSMIL facilitated National Conference which we all hoped would finally usher the country towards stability.
Instead, we find ourselves one year on counting the cost - hundreds of civilian dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, billions lost in oil production, even wider divisions among Libyans and a deteriorating quality of life for most of you.
At this desperate time you now face another danger which, after nine years of conflict and instability, threatens to take your country to the abyss. The international community, including most recently the EU and its member states, has been calling for a humanitarian truce as the only way to which will allow you to contain the corona virus pandemic. Regretfully, not only have these calls not been heeded but the fighting over the past days has intensified.
You must realise that this pandemic is now your number one enemy. You can only fight if the violence stops and if you all decide to combine your efforts and make this an overriding national priority. There is no other way. We and our partners are ready to help you in this fight.
To grasp the gravity of your situation just look across the sea to see what is happening in our countries. We have the most advanced health systems, we are among the wealthiest nations on earth and we are not fighting each other. Yet we are still struggling with the pandemic. There is no more time to lose.
God preserve you and Libya.
4 April 2020