EU on reports of the death of Colonel Gaddafi

State­ment by High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton on the fall of Sirte and reports of the death of Colonel Gaddafi
Cather­ine Ash­ton, the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Union for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion, made today the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“The fall of Sirte marks the end of the Gaddafi era. Libya is now under the full con­trol of Nation­al Tran­si­tion­al Coun­cil forces. After ten months of extra­or­di­nary sac­ri­fices, the Libyan peo­ple can say with pride and con­fi­dence that they have shak­en off a regime that ter­rorised and oppressed for more than 40 years. They can now look to the future.

Reports of Colonel Gaddafi’s death have not yet been con­firmed. If con­firmed, his death brings clo­sure to a trag­ic peri­od in the lives of so many Libyans.

Libya is enter­ing a process of tran­si­tion. It is impor­tant that its lead­er­ship unites to build a demo­c­ra­t­ic future for the coun­try in full respect for human rights. While the crimes of the past must be addressed, the lead­er­ship must also seek a path of nation­al rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. The EU has stood by the Libyan peo­ple dur­ing these strug­gles. We have been present in Tripoli and Beng­hazi. We have pro­vid­ed sub­stan­tial human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance. We have already sup­port­ed civ­il soci­ety and we are now work­ing with inter­na­tion­al part­ners to respond to Libya’s post-con­flict needs. The EU will remain a strong and com­mit­ted part­ner in the future. ”

For more infor­ma­tion see attachment.

EU sup­port to Libya

From the start of the Libyan cri­sis, the EU has stood by the peo­ple of Libya in their quest for free­dom. Togeth­er with the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, it will con­tin­ue to help Libya’s process of demo­c­ra­t­ic tran­si­tion and eco­nom­ic reconstruction.

The broad, com­pre­hen­sive and swift response of the EU cov­ers a wide range of short- to long-term actions.

Human­i­tar­i­an assistance

The EU has pro­vid­ed more than €156.5 mil­lion in human­i­tar­i­an sup­port — with €80.5 mil­lion com­ing from the EU bud­get. It has mobilised EU civ­il pro­tec­tion teams and assets to alle­vi­ate the plight of civil­ians both in Libya and at its bor­ders. Since the begin­ning of the cri­sis, the Euro­pean Commission’s human­i­tar­i­an teams have been work­ing on the ground with human­i­tar­i­an part­ners to ensure that pri­or­i­ty needs are met and aid is ade­quate­ly coor­di­nat­ed both in Libya and in neigh­bour­ing countries.

Sup­port to the demo­c­ra­t­ic tran­si­tion and eco­nom­ic development

Fol­low­ing the set­ting up of a Liai­son Office in Beng­hazi (21 May) designed to coor­di­nate Mem­ber State activ­i­ties and give imme­di­ate sup­port to the Nation­al Tran­si­tion­al Coun­cil and civ­il soci­ety, a new EU office has been opened in Tripoli, which is soon to become an EU Delegation.

Beyond tack­ling the most press­ing human­i­tar­i­an needs, the EU is already prepar­ing both imme­di­ate mea­sures to sup­port the sta­bil­i­sa­tion pri­or­i­ties of the Nation­al Tran­si­tion­al Coun­cil (NTC), as well as longer-term sup­port pro­grammes. It was agreed at the inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence in Paris on 2 Sep­tem­ber 2011 that the EU will con­duct the needs assess­ment for the fol­low­ing sec­tors: bor­der man­age­ment; strength­en­ing civ­il soci­ety and women’s rights, and media/communications, while the UN and the World Bank, with which the EU is work­ing very close­ly, will lead assess­ments in oth­er areas. An ongo­ing EU mis­sion in Libya that began on 10 Sep­tem­ber start­ed prepa­ra­tion of the needs assess­ments and on plan­ning the pro­vi­sion of imme­di­ate sup­port, in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the NTC. The EU has already deployed experts in com­mu­ni­ca­tions, civ­il soci­ety, bor­der man­age­ment and secu­ri­ty, and procurement.

In addi­tion to its human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion can make up to €25 mil­lion avail­able for imme­di­ate sta­bil­i­sa­tion needs, includ­ing through the re-acti­va­tion of pro­grammes in the field of migra­tion that were sus­pend­ed when con­flict began. Build­ing on activ­i­ties already under­way with the NTC and civ­il soci­ety groups (ini­tial­ly launched in the Beng­hazi area), this includes: 

  • Short-term tech­ni­cal assis­tance to the NTC to build up state institutions;
  • Strength­en­ing respect for human rights and democratisation;
  • Strength­en­ing civ­il soci­ety and re-build­ing of liveli­hoods through civ­il society;
  • Health: sup­port for urgent needs result­ing from the conflict;
  • Migra­tion: sup­port to issues relat­ed to dis­placed peo­ple and bor­der controls;
  • Secu­ri­ty sector.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is ready to refo­cus medi­um term fund­ing fore­seen for Libya of €60 mil­lion on the needs of the new Libyan author­i­ties in areas such as democ­ra­ti­sa­tion and civ­il soci­ety, pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion capac­i­ty build­ing and social and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment. This longer-term sup­port pro­gramme will be pre­pared togeth­er with the new Libyan authorities.

Libya is a resource-rich coun­try. In par­al­lel with assis­tance, steps have been tak­en to lift restric­tions on a range of eco­nom­ic enti­ties which, pre­vi­ous­ly under the con­trol of the regime, were sub­ject to sanctions.

Towards a long last­ing partnership

The EU also stands ready to resume nego­ti­a­tions on a Frame­work Agree­ment which can serve as a basis for polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic, social and cul­tur­al dia­logue and coop­er­a­tion with the new Libya, when­ev­er the new author­i­ties decide that is the right moment to do so. The same prin­ci­ple applies to the pos­si­bil­i­ty of hav­ing Libya join­ing region­al ini­tia­tives where the EU is involved.

The devel­op­ments in Libya are giv­ing fresh momen­tum to the Arab Spring. The Euro­pean Union stands by the peo­ple in the region and sup­ports their demo­c­ra­t­ic aspi­ra­tions and choic­es. This is reflect­ed in the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion of the Com­mis­sion and the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive ‘A Part­ner­ship for Democ­ra­cy and Shared Pros­per­i­ty’ (8 March 2011), which lays the foun­da­tion on which that sup­port will be built in com­ing years, as well as in their Com­mu­ni­ca­tion ‘A New Response to a Chang­ing Neigh­bour­hood” which gives ori­en­ta­tions of the new Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­i­cy (25 May 2011). 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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