Libyan Minister Accuses UN of Dividing Country

Abdullah Al-Senussi, the Intelligence Chief during the era of late leader Muammar Gaddafi
Abdullah Al-Senussi, the Intelligence Chief during the era of late leader Muammar Gaddafi

The Libyan Minister of Justice in the Parliament-designate government, Khaled Saad accused the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and “external parties,” which he did not name, of dividing the country.

In statements to Sputnik on Monday, Saad claimed that a number of countries and UNSMIL participated in the “division between the various political forces.”

“The international community has negatively participated in the internal division in Libya,” Saad said. “Not all countries have done so; but some countries were looking to profit from Libya… These countries recognize the governments loyal to them, and seek to achieve their interests,” he added.

He pointed out that UN diplomats “caused a lack of consensus among the Libyan parties.”

“The United Nations Mission sent many special envoys to Libya. In fact, many of them made unprecedented efforts to carry out reforms in Libya, form a unified government, and restore Libya’s sovereignty,” he noted. However, the Minister reaffirmed his belief that “the United Nations Mission deviated from the right track in many issues related to internal affairs.”

In September, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of former Senegalese minister and UN diplomat, Abdoulaye Bathily as the new UN Envoy to Libya.

Former Envoy, Jan Kubis resigned in November 2022, after 10 months on the job. A number of candidates proposed by Guterres were rejected either by Security Council members, Libya, or neighbouring countries.

After the resignation of Kubis, Guterres appointed veteran American diplomat, Stephanie Williams, a former UN deputy special representative in Libya, as his special adviser.

Libya has been mired in conflict for long stretches 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.