United Nations Security Council extends Libya mission till April 30 after US-Russia dispute over envoy

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Libya LibyaThe United Nations Security Council on Monday extended the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until the end of April. This decision was taken because of the dispute between the West and Russia over the appointment of a new UN envoy for the North African country.

The new UN envoy was reportedly trying to form a united government after 10 years of turmoil in Libya. Russia and the US locked horns on this matter. Russia demanded that a special envoy to Libya be appointed by the secretary-general. Russia demanded to replace current special adviser US Stephanie Williams.

The UK (United Kingdom), the penholder on Libya, said to extend the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) mandate for one more year. The UK told Libyans to hold national elections. Libya’s elections were scheduled to be held on December 24, 2021. However, the elections commission of Libya proposed a delay in the election, citing various reasons. The UK also told Libya to withdraw the foreign mercenaries from the North African country.

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The resolution adopted on Monday extended the mission until April 30 while maintaining its old mandate. It also eradicated Russia’s call for a one-month deadline for the U.N. chief to appoint a new envoy. However, Russia called for the appointment of an envoy “without further delay.” Reportedly, several member states demanded the special envoy’s post be transferred from Geneva to Tripoli.

After the sudden resignation of former envoy Jan Kubis in November, Stephanie Williams has served as UN special adviser on Libya. Earlier, Stephanie Williams said that the main focus of Libya’s government should be on moving forward with elections as Libya’s citizens want this election. Last year, presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya were devised through an UN-backed political roadmap to end a decade of chaos and violence in Libya since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

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