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The United Nations and The Libyan Crisis?

The United Nations and The Libyan Crisis?

Saturday, 15 February, 2020 - 11:15
Jebril Elabidi
Libyan writer and researcher

Have the United Nations and the mission led by Ghassan Salame in Libya become a part of the Libyan crisis? After a mishandling based on a misreading of the Libyan crisis and Salame becoming involved in serious violations of red lines in Libya, especially after he repeated the same mistakes in his reports to the UN and Security Council. The mission under Salameh started to ignore the Libyan parliament’s legitimacy and was selective with who it meets and has a dialogue with without passing through the legitimate Speaker of Parliament.


In his briefings to the Security Council Salameh did not mention many important matters while he exaggerated other more minor ones. He was silent about Turkish mercenaries and weapons being brought to Tripoli. His briefings lacked truth and realism; in fact, it revealed that it leaned towards the Government of National Accord while ignoring popular rejection of it. Indeed, even among members of al-Sarraj’s Presidential Council, after Barca and Fezzan resigned which entailed that it lost legitimacy. After losing its condition for existence, the international mission continued to deal with the council, making it complicit with the Libyan crisis. It was silent about the expenditure of billions from the peoples’ treasury without issuing a budget by parliament to begin with or there being a monitor as economic supervision procedures require.


The UN mission has intentionally shifted the locations of negotiations, from Ghadames in Libya to Skhirat in Morocco, then to the Tunisian capital and later to Geneva, Paris and Rome. In fact, it used its envoys to fragment the crisis and drown it in detail, while members of the mission became suspicious to Libyans due to the misguidance in the biased reports or the mission selecting representatives of the dialogue committee.


This committee lacked friends and supporters. In fact, it included a high-ranking official from the Muslim Brotherhood who was named an independent member of the dialogue committee in Skhirat. This committee produced a shameful agreement that was violated dozens of times without a single condemnation by the mission. On the contrary, it continued to recognize the Presidential Council even after most of its members resigned, which led to one group to take over the council without there being representatives of the two other main parties. Despite this grave violation, the international mission, as a monitor over the agreement, did not declare that the agreement was violated and has become obsolete.


The Skhirat agreement was sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ibn Kiran government, and consequently, the supposed “Agreement” failed and did not qualify as a consensual deal. The UN mission’s insistence on this clinically dead agreement rendered it complicit in the crisis rather than a mediator.


The Skhirat government, recognized by the UN mission, naturalized and legitimized militias. Actually, it enabled them to protect this fragile government instead of implementing its clauses to redeploy the militias outside the cities and then dissolve, without a single condemnation by the mission.


Now, there is a war on terror and its advocates in Libya. It cannot be described as anything else, as what is happening is a return of the state and its status after being taken over by systematic chaos. Despite this, the UN mission and its delegates still misread the Libyan crisis.


Salameh has tried to disregard his job description as UN envoy by ignoring sovereign Libyan bodies such as parliament and attempting to deal with defected or suspended parliamentarians and choosing among them representatives of parliament in the Geneva talks and entirely ignoring the Speaker. This has rendered the international mission complicit in complicating the Libyan crisis.


The composition of the international mission in Libya needs reconsideration, starting from its head to its mechanism and authorities. That is a result of it becoming a part of the Libyan crisis in many respects and has made it unwanted on Libyan land, especially after the accusations against it have become both extensive and problematic. The UN has precedence in trying to divide Libya and manipulating it in what was known as Bevin-Sforza Plan that our ancestors and the founding fathers of the modern Libya state overthrew.


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