Published: June 13, 2019
Growing Objection Impedes UN Envoy’s Efforts in Libya
UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tripoli, Libya March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Hani Amar/File Photo
Cairo - Jamal Jawhar
The UN special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, decried the campaign of criticism launched against him by a wide-range of parliamentarians and politicians who were unsatisfied with his stance on the military battle waged to “liberate” the capital Tripoli from armed militias and terrorists.
Salame had warned against the current stalemate facing the Libyan political process at a meeting in Tripoli with the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj.
Whilst Salame’s efforts, in keep with the Abu Dhabi mediation meetings, worked to bring all Libya’s warring parties to the negotiating table, Libyan National Army (LNA) chief Khalifa Hafter and Sarraj remain at odds regarding ongoing violence in Tripoli.
Sarraj insists on the need to bring all LNA operations to a screeching halt, whereas Hafter underscores the vitality of anti-paramilitary offensives his forces are undertaking.
Since Hafter mobilized troops to conduct the Tripoli campaign on April 4, politicians of eastern and western Libya were left divided into two camps on the positions upheld by the UN envoy.
As the victim of fierce criticism, Salame had to face accusations of bias and calls for ending his tenure.
The head of Libya's Council for Reconciliation, Mohamed Al-Mubashir, admitted to Salame’s qualifying skills, but accused him of being unrealistic as he pointed out that the envoy does not enjoy much support from the entire international community.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Mubashir labeled the growing opposition against Salame’s performance as “very normal” when taking into consideration Libya’s divergent and intricate political scene.
He called out Salame for falling in the trap of false assessments and advised vigilance as key to avoiding getting targeted.
More than 653 people, including 41 civilians, have died since the outbreak of violence in Tripoli, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report. The battles have also caused the displacement of 91,000 people.