In a report submitted to the UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the “concrete progress” made in recent months in tackling the near-decadelong-Libyan crisis and reiterated that all foreign troops and mercenaries must evacuate the country by the end of the week.
“Significant progress has been made in promoting the UNSMIL – facilitated political, security and economic dialogues within Libya in recent months,” said the document, obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP), citing the UN mission in Libya.
Guterres said that “sustained international engagement” in UN-facilitated talks “has generated significant impetus, demonstrated by concrete progress on political, security, economic and international humanitarian and human rights tracks, leading Libya forward on the path to peace, stability and development.”
The UN chief acknowledged that “the Libyan economy is in an abyss” and called on all parties to the protracted civil war to maintain their determination to reach a lasting political solution to the conflict, resolve economic issues and alleviate the humanitarian situation for the benefit of all Libyans. people. “
He also called on all “regional and international actors to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement” on October 23, which stipulated that foreign fighters leave the country within three months.
This deadline for withdrawal falls on Saturday, and the UN estimates that there are still about 20,000 foreign forces and mercenaries in Libya who help the warring factions, the UN-backed National Accord Government (GNA) in Tripoli and Putchist General Khalifa Haftar in the east.
In the Libyan conflict, Russia, together with France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has supported Haftar against the legitimate Libyan government, with the support of Turkey and Qatar.
Guterres encouraged all parties to implement the ceasefire conditions “without delay”, which he noted, “including ensuring the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya and full and unconditional respect for the Security Council’s arms embargo.” The embargo has existed since the conflict broke out almost a decade ago.
The next meeting of the UN Security Council on Libya is scheduled for 28 January. The United Kingdom is currently preparing a resolution to present it to the UN Mission, hoping to have a monitoring role that monitors the departure of foreign forces from Libya and ensures that the terms of the agreement are met.
In June, the US African Command (AFRICOM) revealed that 2,000 Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group had worked with the Haftar forces.
In an attempt to quell the chaos in the country, Slovak diplomat Jan Kubis was appointed UN envoy to Guterres by the new Libya, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced on Monday.
He will take over as special envoy to Libya in February and officially replace Ghassan Salame, who resigned in March due to health reasons.
Guterres had encountered difficulties in filling the high post since the preferred candidate, Nikolay Mladenov, surprisingly withdrew shortly before his nomination. Acting UN envoy Stephanie Willliams, an American, has held the post in the meantime.
Kubis has decades of experience in crisis regions.
His previous experience includes serving as a UN envoy to Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also Slovenia’s Foreign Minister.
Turkey welcomes the secretary general’s appointment of Kubis as head of the UN’s political mission in conflict-ridden Libya, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“Turkey will support Special Envoy Jan Kubi’s efforts to reach a political solution in Libya,” the ministry said in a written statement.
It added that “in the light of the experience of Kubis, who has taken on significant and difficult tasks in several regional and international organizations, we believe he will make a significant contribution to national reconciliation efforts for the establishment of permanent peace and stability in Libya. ”
The ministry also thanked Williams for her efforts.
Voting for temporary executive
Since last year, the two sides held UN-led talks to form an interim government before the election later in 2021.
On January 3, Williams announced the formation of an 18-member advisory council to the Libyan Dialogue Forum set up to decide on the mechanism for the caretaker Libyan government.
A member of the Libyan Dialogue Forum said on Monday that the vote on the mechanism for electing the Libyan executive branch has begun.
According to the member who spoke to the Anadolu Agency (AA) on condition of anonymity, the UN mission in Libya is conducting a vote on the proposed mechanism and has reached 75 members of the dialogue forum.
A temporary authority will also be elected as head of the Presidential Council, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Libyan government members.
The dialogue forum member added that the executive will be temporary but uniform and will be replaced by an elected government on December 24 this year.