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Speech by Libyan Crown Prince Mohammed El Senussi on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of Libyan Independence

English translation

24th December 2023

“Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings. My sisters and brothers, fellow Libyan citizens,

We gather every year on this day to commemorate the birth of our nation. 72 years ago today, our fathers and forefathers, under King Idris I’s leadership, completed their struggle to mark the beginning of Libya’s modern political history. 

They set an extraordinary example of patriotism, dedication and loyalty, establishing a democratic state with much hope and promise for the future. 

Despite limited resources, they laid the foundation for numerous institutions – military, educational, health, and economic – which over the many decades that followed, produced hundreds of thousands of professionals and experts, contributing to our nation’s development to this day.

However, in recent years, we have been warning of the dangers facing our country, and the conspiracies from domestic and international actors that covet our nation’s wealth. Yet, even in our nation’s darkest moments, plagued by power struggles and conflict, destruction and corruption, we have kept the flames of hope alive.

Our unwavering hope is that with our collective efforts, our country’s splendor and glory will be restored, as befits this magnificent land, its noble people with a rich history. This hope for a brighter future is not shared by our enemies or those coveting our wealth. But it is this hope that can restore unity and consensus, tragically lost amidst the continuing conflicts.

This is a new hope that has emerged, because, across the entire nation, we have come to realize that it is impossible to agree a successful way forward to manage our country’s affairs if we do not change our path.  

There is no path forward unless it is based on a sound constitutional framework with well-functioning institutions that represent the people’s true will.

Driven by this conclusion, with a sense of duty and trust, we strive, with determination and support from Almighty God, to heal our wounds, to reconcile our divisions and to reach a national consensus without waiting for others to bring us together. 

Therefore, in recent months, we have launched a National Dialogue – a series of consultations and discussions with all segments of our society, without exceptions or conditions, other than the sole objective of securing our country and its people’s best interests.

God willing, we will continue and intensify this National Dialogue on the ground in Libya, among our people and across the nation, to ensure participation from all segments of Libyan society.

The aim is not to restore a regime, not to reclaim a throne, nor to protect the interests of a few at the expense of the many. Instead, this National Dialogue aims to reach consensus on a single truth: that our salvation lies in a united people with a shared goal. 

Before it fragments and fades away, we aim to elevate our nation to a constitutional path that not only serves as a unifying umbrella for our nation, but also provides the institutional framework that respects the people’s will.

In this journey, we rely on Almighty God, seeking His pleasure, and on our Libyan brothers and sisters. We welcome help and support from our international friends, partners and organizations, but ask them neither to interfere in our affairs, nor try to dictate our steps. 

As we strive to make our country a haven of stability, it is also important for us that the extended region, especially across the North African coast, remains stable. We hope to contribute, as our fathers and forefathers did, to ending the suffering and wars across the region. We cannot achieve stability in our country without contributing to the stability of this important region of the world.

My sisters and brothers, fellow citizens, I hope that the occasion we celebrate today remains an annual event, not only to celebrate the independence achieved in 1951, but also to celebrate this day of renewed hope for our beloved country. 

A day remembered for inspiring us all to remove the despair from our hearts and fill them instead with the hope for our nation’s salvation. 

The hope that with our combined efforts we will soon emerge again at the forefront of nations, with our people among the happiest, and a future for our sons and daughters that delivers on their dreams. May God protect Libya.”

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Prince Mohammed El Senussi’s Speech on the Occasion of the 71st Anniversary of Libya’s Independence

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Dear Libyan people,

The anniversary of the independence of our beloved country, that we all meet to celebrate and commemorate today, brings us pride and affection while we recall what our fathers and grandfathers, foremost among them the founding father King Idris al- Senussi, were able to achieve by Allah’s favour, and by their sincerity, honesty and dedication.

Through these qualities they succeeded in bringing together all parts of our country into one united homeland. A united Libya that looked forward to a promising future. A united country governed by both constitution and law.

This anniversary revives our pride in what Libyans were able to achieve over the course of decades. Sadly, it also revives our grief at the current situation of our country, particularly over the past years when the devastating rivalry over money and power, and the misuse of our country’s wealth, have turned this land into an arena for conflict and war, sowing hatred and strife among our people.

Our citizens have suffered from this internal and external manipulation for too long. The time has come to rid ourselves and our country of this dark period in our history. This intolerable suffering must come to an end.

Over the past years, I have had no doubt that our noble people would remain proud and steadfast against the attempts to steal their historical right to regain constitutional legitimacy represented by the Kingdom of Libya, which has been subjected to continuous campaigns of distortion and manipulation, not least of which has been an attempt to hijack our country’s Independence Constitution, after it became clear to all that there is no other way to solve the current situation of crisis in our homeland, save for using the solution that worked before.

I have spent the past months and years meeting and consulting with many national social forces in our country who all agreed, regardless of their different ideas and convictions, that the constitutional legitimacy represented by the Kingdom of Libya is still the most appropriate umbrella for re-uniting our one nation, and that there is no way out of the tragedy that has befallen our country, except through a national dialogue that sets its sights on reaching safety, namely a constitutional monarchy presiding over a democratic state safeguarded by our Independence Constitution.

I have also explained this clear national vision in all my meetings with representatives of international powers. This vision does not accept interpretation or further procrastination in building an internal agreement based on a properly constructed and inclusive political process that carries the hopes of all of our country’s citizens. It is this that will help us reach a path that guarantees that our nation will put in place the necessary building blocks for a prosperous future. We need to use our resources to serve our nation whilst also preserving our wealth to serve future generations.

In these meetings, I have explained that during the coming period, I am willing and able to see through the necessary steps required to work towards a lasting solution for our country. Divergence of views and opinions is part of human nature as created by Allah Almighty. But we must rise above these differences and not allow them to lead to enmity, hatred and yet more divergence. We must all extend our hands to one another to free ourselves from the painful past that only serves to shackle our souls and cloud our minds. That is how we will transcend our painful reality.

All of us must participate in building a bright path forward, for ourselves and for future generations, towards a vision for our homeland where justice, equality and brotherhood prevail.

Video: Prince Mohammed El Senussi’s Speech on the Occasion of the 71st Anniversary of Libya’s Independence

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Statement of Prince Mohammed El Hassan El Rida, El Senussi, Crown Prince of Libya, on the Passing of Queen Elizabeth II

King Idris with Queen Elizabeth II

I extend my deepest, most heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and to the whole British people on the occasion of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 
Her Majesty The Queen redefined what it means to be a monarch in the 21st Century. She ruled not with force, but through her example of dignity and faith. She did not take her illustrious birth-right for granted, but used it to bring comfort and unity to her people. She lived for her country; it loved her in return. Today, The Queen unites her people in death as she did throughout her life of service.  
For almost a century, as the British people walked the treacherous path of history, and as the world around them changed, The Queen was a beacon of hope. Through the devastation of war to the prosperity that Britain knows today, The Queen ruled with wisdom, compassion, and an undying commitment to the duty that The Almighty thrust upon her at a young age. The history of four different nations—England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales—was united in her. With grace and purpose, she represented those four nations as Queen of the United Kingdom, and embodied the unity of those nations and all of Britain’s diverse peoples. The Queen did not only live through history; she embodied it. 
For Libyans, the Queen’s passing means the loss of a link to a happier time in our own history. The Queen’s first visit to an Arab country—and the second of the 152 state visits she would make over her long life—was to Tobruk in 1954, where she met with His Majesty King Idris (May God rest his soul.) 
In 1940, then-Princess Elizbeth spoke to her people as they were plunged into the heart of war: “When peace comes, it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.” Her message of hope rings true for the people of Libya and the world today. 
Our thoughts and prayers are with His Majesty The King, The Queen Consort, and the entire Royal Family at this time of loss and sadness. May The Almighty have mercy on Her soul.  
Mohammed El Senussi 
London, England

Published in The Wall Street Journal.
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Prince Mohammed El Senussi’s Speech to the Libyan Nation

On December 24th, 2021, the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of Libya’s Independence

Dear Libyan people,

Today we remember a momentous day in the history of our Libyan nation, and recall the significant impact this day has had on our country. December 24, 1951 was not like any other day in our beloved country’s history. Rather, it was the most prominent event in our country’s modern history and a turning point in the history of a people who over many decades struggled for freedom, dignity and independence.

Thanks to this struggle, whose achievements we celebrate today, our country, with the determination and patience of its men and women, and under the unifying umbrella of the national Independence Constitution, was able to take its first steps towards the building of a state based on the rule of law and functioning institutions. We are proud of this Independence Constitution. Its strengths enabled us to establish a democratic state where people could attain their personal aspirations, within a society where justice and equality prevailed.

During this past decade, closely and with great interest we monitored the events and developments that our country has experienced. Undoubtedly these have had many sources and causes both from within and without our country. But tragically, the results have been mostly negative, with budgets wasted on unnecessary expenditures, the wealth of our country looted, property destroyed and countless people displaced and killed unjustly and unnecessarily.

During these almost eleven years, our people have continued to be patient, yearning that our country would finally see the glimmer of hope that we have long been awaiting. Throughout this critical period for our nation, we welcomed all calls for peacemaking and dialogue, and encouraged every initiative that might preserve our unity and territorial integrity, and protect our country from the evil of conflict, war and sedition. But we firmly believed, and continue to believe and emphasise, that no solution will succeed, even with consensus, so long as it does not adopt our national Independence Constitution and laws as its basis.

Notwithstanding, during this critical period, we made sure to continue to render assistance, and encouraged everyone to look beyond considerations of power and money, and instead stand with the Libyan people, and honour their right to choose the system of government to which they aspire; a state governed by strong institutions and laws.

At the same time, over the past decades, we made sure to preserve our father’s and grandfathers’ will with which we were entrusted, that the restoration of the constitutional monarchy should continue to be able to serve as an umbrella for Libyans of all denominations, ethnicities, beliefs and orientations. To provide for a state that enables constructive disagreements that lead to its strengthening and development, not to division or conflict.

We are confident that the wealth of our country will guarantee its eventual recovery and prosperity for this and future generations, if and only if, we are able to forgive each other and unite. God save Libya and God save its people.

Prince Mohammed El Hasan El Rida El Senussi

December 24, 2021

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Open letter from HRH Prince Mohammed El Hasan El Rida El Senussi to His Excellency The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres

9 April 2020

Dear Secretary General,

The United Nations has played a prominent role in recent years striving to secure peace, reconciliation and consensus among my fellow countrymen.

These efforts were designed to reduce the suffering of Libyan citizens and achieve stability.  Had they been successful they would have ushered in the resumption of normality and begun a process of development and reconstruction to which all segments of Libyan society naturally aspire.

The reality is that these noble efforts today collide with a painful reality.  The people of Libya continue to find themselves struggling with the daily hardship of seeking a living, acquiring education and protecting the safety and security of their family homes from violation.

Tens of thousands have been displaced and millions of people are forced to endure the breakdown of basic amenities such a power and water.   Dozens of our finest young people die every day in a cycle of violence and conflict.

As if these hardships were not enough of a burden on our society the global covid-19 pandemic is severely challenging the Libyan health institutions.  Financial hardship, accentuated by disruptions to the oil and gas industry, which is the primary source of national income, the continuing political conflict, and the militarisation of society make the task of the health service even more challenging.

We call upon the United Nations to stand by our country and the Libyan people in our hour of need.

We ask that you apply pressure on all factions to stop the bloodshed and destruction.

We beseech you to direct all necessary aid and support to Libyan health institutions struggling to combat the effects of the global pandemic.

We also remind the international community of its duty to protect and preserve the assets of the Libyan Investment Authority.  These, and other assets that belong to the Libyan people, have been under UN control for several years.  There is presently no institution in Libya capable of safeguarding and stewarding these assets. They must be held in trust for future generations of Libyans, until such time as they can be reliably used to support reconstruction, nation-building, capacity development and to build a better future for our children.

Yours faithfully,

Mohammed El Hasan El Rida El Senussi
Crown Prince of Libya

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Interview with Prince Mohammed El Senussi

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Speech of Prince Mohammed El Senussi to the Libyan nation on the 65th anniversary of Libyan Independence.

London, 24th December 2016

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Most Merciful

Prayer and peace be upon the Prophet Mohammed, His family and His companions

My dear Libyan people, peace be upon you all,

Today we celebrate the anniversary of our independence. One of the most important milestones in our modern history. On this day, the 24th December 1951, King Mohammed Idris El Senussi (may Allah bless him), announced from the balcony of al-Manar palace that our country, Libya, had become an independent nation. According to the UN resolution of 21st November 1951, Libya became an independent state with full sovereignty. This independence was backed by the provisions of the Libyan Constitution of the 7th October 1951 that was agreed and issued by the General National Assembly of the UN and a committee from the three regions of Libya: Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan.

It was the first time in history that the newly formed country of Libya became an independent state. Prior to that, what we know as Libya today, had been different parts of different governing regimes. For example, during the period before independence, Libya had been occupied by colonial forces.

When we look back at our independence, we remember how difficult it was to attain it. Libyans were facing very challenging conditions after World War II. They lacked resources and a large proportion of Libyans was living in poverty. We were facing national and international crises. But our people were resilient. They knew what was needed to build their country. They supported their wise leadership and worked together to achieve what our martyrs had hoped for: freedom, dignity and independence.

Then came the the military coup. That regime did everything it could to manipulate our people. It used media and propaganda, it corrupted our education curricula in schools and universities, it spread destructive ideas and thoughts among our students and our youth. Our society is still suffering the effects of these misguided policies. That regime destroyed the legacy of our forefathers.

My dear Libyan people, our dear King Mohammed Idris el Mehdi El Senussi, used to say his famous words: “It is easy to achieve independence. It is much harder to keep it.”

Unfortunately, due to very difficult events, we have failed to keep our independence. The military coup in 1969 seized our independence and suspended the Constitution. A small minority from our army decided to hijack what our ancestors achieved over many years. They destroyed our country and the core values that our society had been built on. Our forefathers were “succeeded by generations who lost all [thought of] prayer and followed [but] their own lusts”. Hence, Allah Almighty destroyed them in a historic popular uprising. It started on February 2011 in the great city of Benghazi, and spread all over Libya. The uprising succeeded in overthrowing the tyranny.

Today, after five years, we find ourselves at another turning point. We have to look to understand the real reasons for the current fighting and turmoil between our brothers. We need to know that we must live in our country in peace and under the sovereignty of our Constitution, the Law and a just government. We have all to be aware of the dangers surrounding our country and we have to come together to protect the nation. It is time to unite and follow in the footsteps of our forefathers who established this country. In this way we can build Libya again and achieve what all Libyans wish for: peace, security, development and stability.

We have to solve our problems with our own hands. We cannot rely or depend on others as others will not have mercy towards us and will not look after our well-being and safety. Outsiders have their own agendas and interests which differ from our interests and objectives. Our politicians should not make mistakes that will lead Libya into danger. They have to shoulder their responsibility, as our ancestors shouldered theirs and saved Libya from many disasters and problems over the 18 years after Libyan independence. During those 18 years Libya and Libyans enjoyed stability and security and deployed successful national development programmes, especially after they were able to sell oil between 1961 to 1969.

I have followed with great sadness the painful events we have faced over the past decades and the events over the past 5 years. We have to learn lessons from these events and know the real reasons why we have faced calamities that have hit every village and every city in our beloved country, and affected every single citizen. We have a responsibility as citizens to be aware of these dangers and to void them and their destructive effects. We all have to come together, hand in hand, to protect our national, religious and moral values. We have to preserve our heritage and respect the memory of our ancestors who gave us our independence. We learnt from them the goodness and the love of our homeland. Let us follow this principle: none of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.

My dear Libyan people, I am aware of the calls for the restoration of the Constitution of Independence and to return Libya to its origins; that is the Constitutional Monarchy that was in place before the military coup of 1969. This Constitutional Monarchy, which has been seen by many as a way to restore safety, security and just parliamentary governance is based on respect for the Constitution and the Law. It is also based on the peaceful transfer of power through free elections that sustain responsible and capable political leadership. This Constitutional Monarchy establishes a fair and just democratic system and protects the rights and the duties of our citizens.

According to my principles, as you all know from my previous announcements, I would like to state again today that I am always ready to serve my country and my people whenever they ask. It is an honour to do so. But, I cannot do this unless there is a national consensus. Only Libyans have the right to bring about such a consensus. This consensus will bring stability and be able to deliver the objectives of our people. Libyans have suffered enough and it is now time for them to find some relief and focus on building the foundations of a bright future for themselves and for their children.

We ask Allah Almighty to have mercy on our founding father the pious King Mohammed Idris El Mehdi El Senussi, and his friends and companions, great people who have passed away like him. May Allah Almighty have a mercy on the souls of those who gave their lives for the sake of the independence and freedom of our country.

May Allah Almighty save and protect our country. I wish all my dear Libyans love, security and safety.

Peace be upon you all,

Mohammed El Senussi
24 December 2016

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Speech from Prince Mohammed El Senussi on the Anniversary of Libyan Independence 2016