American Ambassador in Libya Peter W. Bodde announced Thursday that his mission in Tripoli has come to an end, and that as he leaves the country, he feels sad “by the deepening divide that is undermining prospects of a better future for all Libyans.”
In his statement, Bodde said “the ongoing fighting in Tripoli is damaging essential civilian infrastructure, jeopardizing U.S.-Libya counterterrorism efforts and of most concern, endangering the lives of innocent civilians, including women and children.”
He added that at this sensitive moment in Libya’s transition, military posturing only risks propelling Libya back toward chaos.
“The time has come for all parties to rapidly return to political mediation led by UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to help avoid further escalation and chart a path forward that provides security and prosperity for all Libyans,” Bodde added in his statement.
Lasting peace and stability in Libya will only come through a political solution derived from an inclusive dialogue representing the perspectives and concerns of communities across Libya: North, South, East and West, he said.
“The success of that dialogue will depend upon a ceasefire in and around Tripoli, Bodde emphasized.
“The Libyan people have suffered far too long with insecurity, corruption, substandard basic services and the plundering of resources that rightfully belong to all Libyans. I urge all parties to lay down their arms and return to negotiations that will finally bring the cycle of violence in Libya to an end,” Bodde concluded.
The Libyan National Army launched a campaign to seize Tripoli on April 4, days before a UN-backed national conference bringing together Libyan factions to reach a roadmap to stability. Since then, human and infrastructure losses have fallen and ceasefires have been rejected by the LNA and the Government of National Accord.
Bodde’s predecessor John Christopher Stevens was killed in a militant attack on the US Special Mission in Benghazi in 2012.