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UNSC backs Libya ceasefire mechanism, calls for withdrawal of foreign forces, mercenaries

April 17, 2021
A destroyed warship at Tripoli naval base, in Libya, a symbol of ongoing conflict in the country. — courtesy UNSMIL/Abel Kavanagh
A destroyed warship at Tripoli naval base, in Libya, a symbol of ongoing conflict in the country. — courtesy UNSMIL/Abel Kavanagh

NEW YORK — The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution which calls for all foreign forces and mercenaries to leave Libya and gives the green light for a UN team to monitor last October’s historic ceasefire agreement.

In a second vote announced on Friday afternoon in New York, ambassadors also passed a resolution unanimously, renewing measures relating to the illicit export of petroleum, through to 30 July, 2022.

Ceasefire monitoring

The UN-brokered agreement last year was signed by military representatives of the internationally recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), and rival administration of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), based in eastern Libya.

The permanent ceasefire agreement also called for the setting up of a monitoring mechanism to implement it, and details were fleshed out in Dec. 29 proposals, submitted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, as requested by the Council.

In February, the Council sent a letter to the secretary general requesting an advance team be deployed in anticipation of the new team being formed, under the umbrella of the UN Support Mission, UNSMIL, and asking for a report back on the team’s work.

Phased deployment

That report was submitted to the Council last month, and the UN chief proposed last week a phased deployment for the UNSMIL ceasefire monitoring team, which would require an initial maximum of around 60 personnel, according to details relayed to correspondents in New York at Thursday’s regular press briefing.

“They would be deployed to Sirte once all of the requirements for a permanent presence have been met, including, obviously, security, logistical, medical and operational aspects,” said spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

“And in the meantime, a forward presence would be established in Tripoli as soon as conditions permit.”

UNSMIL monitors will be working alongside the monitors of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, he added.

Withdraw ‘without delay’

The resolution just passed, gives approval to the secretary-general’s ceasefire monitoring plan, and notes the need for constitutional and legislative backing for Libya’s new electoral process to be in place by July 1, ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections planned for Dec. 24.

The resolution underlines that the Joint Military Commission of the GNA and LNA, needs to develop a broader plan specifying how the ceasefire mechanism will be implemented, and how UNSMIL monitors can be deployed.

The monitoring mechanism resolution 2570, also “strongly urges” states to support the October ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, “without delay”.

Briefing journalists just before the results of voting were disclosed in the Council, Dujarric said that the UN was committed to "helping the political leaders of Libya", noting that "what we want to see, is all foreign fighters leave Libya." — UN News


April 17, 2021
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