UN to hold meeting on Libyan mission

The UN will convene today to discuss the activities of its Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Expect today’s meeting to focus

UN libyan mission

Photo: Martial Trezzini/ AP

The UN will convene today to discuss the activities of its Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Expect today’s meeting to focus on recent talks that have yielded agreements for a ceasefire and elections for a unified government in December of this year.

The conflict between the Government of National Accord (GNA), recognised by the UN, and the forces of warlord Khalifa Haftar in the east has turned into a competition between foreign rivals over influence in the eastern Mediterranean. Despite UN emphasis on following the troop withdrawal timeline, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries have not made any attempt to evacuate forces from Libyan soil.

Turkey wants to preserve Ankara’s political and economic dominance in the region, while Russia is looking to secure increased access to Libya’s vast energy sources. Other major players, including the UAE and Egypt, look to use Hafter to restore stability and to curb militant Islamist groups operating in the country.

This neglect of the UN-brokered agreement by foreign powers could thwart the efforts of an already brittle peace process and plunge Libya’s political future into a further state of turmoil.

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