The political dispute inside Libya that has been going on for more than a decade is likely to intensify with the departure of Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General, Stephanie Williams.
The departure of Williams, who was leading mediation efforts in Libya to relaunch the electoral process and maintain the ceasefire, is said to be a risk, aggravating the deadlock in the country.
Williams said yesterday that the only way forward for Libya is through the holding of elections.
She said the Libyan political scene figures, which had been boiling since the 2011 revolution that ended the 42-year-old Qaddafi regime, must make the necessary historic compromises to enable the needed achievements.
Since the overthrow of the regime of Gaddafi, the messengers, envoys and initiatives of the United Nations have not stopped in Libya, which witnessed armed conflicts that have not yet found their end point.
Since the outbreak of the Libyan crisis in 2011, the United Nations has rushed to intervene to resolve the conflict in the country. In September of the same year, the United Nations Security Council issued its resolution No. 2009, which provided for the establishment of a support mission in Libya, and recognized that the mandate of that committee is to assist Libyans in restoring public security and order, improving the rule of law, and encouraging national reconciliation.
Since then, the UN envoys have succeeded in Libya without no breakthroughs, they left without results, and their tasks have failed, which was proven by the living reality and the complete chaos, the total lack of security, and the absence of all the features of the state in Libya.
On Thursday, the UN Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for three months, amid local and international condemnation of this short period and its impact on the extent to which the mission could fulfill its tasks.
In September 2012, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Tarek Mitri of Lebanon as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, however, with the intensification of Libyan disputes and the gradual spread of armed militias, as a result, Bernardino León replaced Mitri in August 2014 who tried to pursue the reconciliation efforts in the country.
Then in November 2015, Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Martin Kobler of Germany as his Special Representative and head of UNSMIL. Unfortunately, Kobler faced one of the toughest periods that witnessed intensified conflicts, fighting, and the emergence of ISIS in Libya and its control over Sirte.
Despite the agreement signed between the Libyan parties in Skhirat, the UN announced in June 2017 the appointment of Ghassan Salama as head of Head of UNSMIL, but after failing to achieve the aimed goals, Jan Kubic was appointed in his position in Libya, then he was finally followed by Williams.
It is pertinent to mention that in September 2021, Libya’s eastern-based parliament passed a no-confidence vote in the country’s unity government. MPs in the eastern city of Tobruk voted to withdraw confidence from the Tripoli-based administration of interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah.
The escalation came amid growing tensions between Dbeibah’s Tripoli-based administration and the House of Representatives in the east, three months ahead of planned national elections. Then the Libyan Parliament formed a new government led by Fathi Bashagha, bringing Libya back to square one, and the controversy regarding the new UN representative is once more.