United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres delivered a letter to the five permanent members of the Security Council, informing them that he has appointed Senegalese diplomat, Abdoulaye Bathily as his special representative and Head of the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL), according to Al-Arabiya.
It is expected that this appointment will be officially announced during an upcoming meeting of the Security Council on Thursday.
This decision came despite the opposition of the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU), led by Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba to Bathily’s appointment, arguing that he was “inexperienced.”
The Senegalese diplomat previously served as the UN Special Envoy in Africa. He is an independent expert in the region’s affairs, and led UNSMIL’s independent strategic review team.
Former UN Envoy, Jan Kubis resigned on 23 November, after 10 months on the job. Several candidates proposed by Guterres have been rejected either by council members, Libya, or neighbouring countries. The African Union has repeatedly proposed the appointment of an African envoy.
Guterres appointed veteran American diplomat, Stephanie Williams, a former UN deputy special representative in Libya, as his Special Adviser. Williams resigned last month, as Libyans continue to grapple with a constitutional and political crisis.
Libya has been mired in conflict since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011. Plagued by divisions between competing institutions in the east and west, Libya remains split between rival forces, with two opposing executives in place since February.