UN Secretary General Seeks to Deploy Ceasefire Monitors in Libya

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The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, proposed that an international committee be formed with a view of monitoring Libya’s fragile ceasefire, amid hopes that foreign fighters will soon leave so that the country can turn the page on a decade of war.

In a letter sent to Security Council members, the UN chief called for the formation of a monitoring group, including civilians and retired soldiers from regional groups such as the African Union, European Union, and Arab League.

“The warring sides, who reached a ceasefire on 23 October in Geneva both want to avoid armed and uniformed foreign troops, Guterres said. “I call on all national, regional, and international stakeholders to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its implementation without delay. I encourage member states and regional organisations to support the operationalization of the ceasefire mechanism by providing individual monitors under the auspices of the United Nations,” he added.

He called for all nations to respect the UN arms embargo on Libya, which has been flagrantly violated. Under Guterres’ proposal, which is likely to be debated in the new year, monitors would initially operate in a triangular section of Libya around Sirte. The monitors would join Libyan forces in reporting in the area on the ceasefire, withdrawal of foreign forces, and removal of mines and other explosives.