Guterres Calls for Unity on UNSMIL Mandate Extension

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres called on the Security Council for “unity and clarity” on the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

His Spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric said in a press conference that the Secretary-General is working on implementing the mandate given to him by the Security Council.

He noted that Guterres is currently working closely with the Security Council in order to achieve the interests of UNSMIL, and also to achieve the interests of the Libyan people.

Dujarric added that the Sec-Gen is “deeply grateful for the efforts of his Special Adviser on Libya (SASG), Stephanie Williams in an environment as difficult as Libya.”

On Thursday, a UN diplomatic source confirmed that a state of deep divisions is prevailing among the Security Council members. This is over the extension of the UNSMIL mandate.

In press statements, the source added, “Britain had proposed a draft resolution that aims to extend the mission’s work for another year, set a new date for elections, call on all member states to stop supporting mercenaries and withdraw them from the country, but it was objected to by a number of countries.”

He added that Moscow demanded the appointment of a new UN Envoy, which was also rejected by both Britain and the United States.

Other diplomatic sources confirmed that the current dispute between Moscow and Washington prompted London to adopt a brief draft resolution extending the mission’s mandate until September. This is without expressing a clear position on the elections.

“The Security Council is scheduled to vote today to extend the work of the UN Mission, whose mandate expires at the end of this month,” the source concluded.