The United Nations mission in Libya expressed its concern over the whereabouts of a key Government of National Unity official who remains missing after an abduction last week.
Rida Faraj Fraitis, chief of staff for a GNU deputy prime minister, disappeared on August 2 after attending a meeting at GNU headquarters in Tripoli.
“The fate and whereabouts of both Mr. Fraitis and his colleague remain unknown and UNSMIL fears for their safety and security,” said UNSMIL in a statement issued Tuesday.
UNSMIL said the concern extends to others targeted for their work toward a new Libyan government and long-delayed elections, now set perhaps optimistically for December. UNSMIL says it has documented several cases of illegal arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings in the past year.
UNSMIL chief Ján Kubiš told the UN Security Council last month that despite hopes for progress after successive rounds of political and peace negotiations over Libya, the decision-making Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) remains fragmented and the process is stalled.
“Because of this failure of both constitutional reform bodies and the LPDF, the situation in Libya is getting more difficult, confrontational, and tense,” Kubiš said. The situation is complicated by fighters from Russia, Syria, Sudan and Chad, according to UN human rights experts.
Libya remains divided after years of rival leadership between the Tripoli-based government and the Libyan National Army in the country’s east. LNA leader Khalifa Haftar, in Cairo this week to meet with United States diplomat Richard Norland and Egyptian officials ahead of the election, has kept the terms of an October 2020 ceasefire but continues to resist the ceding of power in Libya.