Wrangling over UN mission in Libya
On Thursday Security Council members extended once again the UN’s mandate in Libya, until the end of January 2022.
But permanent members, including the US and UK, expressed dissatisfaction with the council’s inability to reach an agreement on an overhaul of the UN Support Mission in Libya that would have seen it establish a physical presence in the country that would encourage negotiations over the withdrawal of foreign forces.
Currently, the UN’s top official for managing the Libya file is based in Geneva. But the UN secretary-general recommended in August that UNSMIL appoint a special representative based in Tripoli to allow it to better engage with actors on the ground.
A presence in the country would allow the UN to intensify negotiations over the withdrawal of foreign forces — which have played a major role in the war — from the country ahead of the Dec. 24 election, the first vote since a fragile ceasefire was brokered between warring factions in 2020.