MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION – Motion for a European Parliament resolution on the situation in Libya

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on Libya,

– having regard to the declarations on Libya by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 6 November, 16 December and 30 December 2014 and to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Libya of 20 October, 17-18 November and 5 December 2014,

– having regard to the joint statement on Libya by the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain and the United Kingdom of 7 November 2014,

– having regard to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970, 1973 (2011) and 2174 of 27 August 2014,

– having regard to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) report entitled ‘Update on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the ongoing violence in Libya’ of 23 December 2014,

– having regard to the Libyan parliamentary elections of June 2014,

– having regard to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, and to the obligation of parties to armed conflict to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances,

– having regard to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, and its Optional Protocol,

– having regard to Council Decision 2013/233/CFSP of 22 May 2013 creating the European Union Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya),

– having regard to the ENP package on Libya of September 2014,

– having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Libyan internal conflict is in increasing danger of turning into a full-scale civil war, resulting in even further civilian suffering, casualties, mass displacement and a spreading humanitarian crisis;

B. whereas on 4 January 2015 the Libyan air force bombarded a Greek-operated oil tanker in the military zone of the port of Derna, leading to the killing of one Greek and one Romanian crew member and the wounding of two others; whereas the port is controlled by Islamist militants and has been attacked several times over the past year;

C. whereas on 3 January 2015 an official government statement declared that Islamic State militia had killed 14 soldiers of the Libyan army and that the government called on the international community to lift the arms embargo on the country in order to fight this militia, which it designates as terrorists;

D. whereas ISIS is training fighters in Libya and establishing a branch in the eastern part of the country; whereas on 30 December 2014 terrorists detonated a car bomb in Tobruk, targeting a session of the House of Representatives;

E. whereas on 28 December 2014 militia commander General Heftar conducted air strikes on Misrata, a stronghold of the Islamist militia group Libya Dawn, in what is seen as revenge for the 25 December 2014 Islamist militia attacks on Libya’s largest oil terminal in Sidra and on Libyan army soldiers in Sirte, killing 22 of them;

F. whereas 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians were abducted by Ansar al-Sharia militants in Sirte, under Islamist militia control, in the latest of an increasing number of attacks on Christians and other religious minorities in Libya; whereas detentions, abductions, torture and executions of suspected fighters on all sides have also continuously increased;

G. whereas legislative elections were held on 25 June 2014; whereas the legitimately elected House of Representatives has been moved from Tripoli to Tobruk; whereas the Islamist militias do not recognise the House of Representatives or the new government and have formed their own government and parliament;

H. whereas on 6 November 2014 the Libyan Supreme Court in Tripoli ruled that the general elections of 25 June 2014 were unconstitutional and that the internationally recognised House of Representatives in Tobruk and the al-Thinni government are therefore illegal and should be dissolved;

I. whereas the House of Representatives has rejected the ruling, saying that the ruling oversteps the mandate of the court, that it was made under pressure from Islamist militias in Tripoli and that the House of Representatives and the government will continue functioning;

J. whereas the Supreme Court ruling has resulted in a further challenge to Libya’s unity, with some Islamist groups calling for independence of the eastern province of Cyreneica;

K. whereas on 19 December 2014 a Sahel G5 Summit with the leaders of its five member states Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso lodged an official request with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council to form an international military intervention force for Libya;

L. whereas recent fighting has greatly facilitated the spreading and settlement of terrorist groups such as ISIS in the country; whereas, if not addressed, this could represent a major threat to the security of the region and of the EU;

M. whereas on 8 January 2015 the Libyan branch of the ISIL declared that it had executed two Tunisian journalists;

N. whereas the human rights situation is further deteriorating throughout the country, including cases of arbitrary detention, abductions, unlawful killings, torture and violence against journalists, officials, political figures and human rights defenders;

O. whereas there are reports of outside involvement in the violence in Libya, including in the form of military action and the delivery of arms and munitions, and the undertaking of actions which exacerbate local divisions, impacting on the poor governance structures and thus undermining Libya’s democratic transition; whereas some Gulf States and some other regional actors are now backing rival sides in Libya’s escalating domestic unrest;

P. whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 2174 (2014) authorises travel bans and asset freezes against ‘individuals and entities determined by the Committee to be engaging in or providing support for other acts that threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya, or obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition’;

1. Condemns in the strongest terms the increasing violence in Libya, and notably the most recent spate of militia and terrorist attacks, including the deadly bombing of an oil tanker in the Port of Derna on 4 January 2015, the 28 December 2014 airstrikes on Misrata and the abductions of Christian Copts, all of which further undermine prospects for a peaceful political settlement and a return to a process of transition to democracy;

2. Expresses its deep concern that the conflict is leading to further political polarisation and a growing humanitarian crisis in Libya; urges all parties to cease violence, to refrain from actions creating further divisions and polarisation, to publicly declare that they will not tolerate such actions and to seek solutions through political dialogue;

3. Reiterates its strong and full support for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Bernardino León, in their efforts to bring the parties to the conflict together in an inclusive national dialogue (the Ghadames process), aiming at a full ceasefire and a roadmap for the transition to democracy which permits the political participation of all stakeholders, to promote the rule of law and the protection of human rights and to hold accountable those undermining prospects for a dialogue and those responsible for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law; regrets that the UN-brokered national dialogue has been continuously delayed;

4. Reiterates its support for the elected House of Representatives in Tobruk as the sole legitimate parliament following the June 2014 elections; reiterates its call on the House of Representatives and the official government to carry out their tasks on the basis of the rule of law and human rights and to engage constructively in an inclusive national political dialogue in the interests of the whole country;

5. Is deeply worried by the increasing presence of extremist organisations and movements in Libya; believes that the region risks ending in destructive chaos along the lines of what is happening in Syria and Iraq; believes that these groups represent a major threat to the stability and security of the whole region, and also to the security of Europe;

6. Calls on the EU and on the international community to continue to support efforts to combat terrorism and to prevent it from spreading further and from establishing new bases in Libya;

7. Underlines the destabilising impact of the Libyan conflict on other countries in the Sahel region; calls on neighbouring countries and other regional actors to support the UNSMIL efforts at dialogue and to refrain from any action running counter to it;

8. Calls for continued humanitarian, financial and political assistance from the EU and the international community with addressing the humanitarian situation in Libya, the plight of internally displaced persons and refugees and that of civilians facing disruption of access to basic services;

9. Reiterates its call on the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to review the mandate of the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) in Libya, currently on hold and stationed in Tunisia, to take account of the dramatically changed situation in the country;

10. Recalls United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2174, adopted on 27 August 2014, broadening the existing international sanctions on Libya to include the criminal responsibility of people who engage in or support acts that ‘threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya, or obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition’; calls on the EU, in line with the statement by the High Representative of 30 December 2014, to stand ready to implement restrictive measures against individuals and entities fuelling violence; calls on the international community to also prepare for such measures;

11. Recalls that warring parties are to be held accountable and subject to prosecution by domestic courts or the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and rape as a war crime committed in Libya since 15 February 2011, under UNSC Resolution 1970;

12. Calls on the Commission and the European External Action Service to coordinate Member States’ action in Libya and focus their support on state-building and institution‑building and, together with the Member States, the UN, NATO and regional partners, to assist in the creation of effective and nationally commanded and controlled security forces (armed forces and police forces) that can ensure peace and order in the country, as well as supporting the initialling of a ceasefire and designing a mechanism to monitor it; stresses that the EU should also give priority to assisting with reform of the Libyan justice system, as well as other fields crucial for democratic governance;

13. Stresses that the Libyan authorities must administer the exploitation and sale of oil, and calls on the international community to refrain from any transactions with other actors;

14. Remains concerned by the proliferation of weapons, ammunition, explosives and smuggling of arms in Libya, which pose a risk to stability in the region;

15. Commends Tunisia for currently hosting an estimated 1.5 million Libyan refugees; calls on the EU to assist Tunisia financially and logistically in this task;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Libyan Government and House of Representatives, the UN Secretary‑General, the Arab League and the African Union.