Published: January 22, 2020
The United Nations special envoy for Libya has opposed the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the war-torn country, saying that "There is no acceptance of foreign troops in Libya."
"I also don't see the willingness to send troops into the international community. Therefore, I'm not aiming at such a military operation." Ghassan Salame said GermanyTuesday's Die Welt newspaper.
Instead, Salame said it was much more important to transform the current fragile truce into a permanent ceasefire, which he said it required a small number of military observers instead of UN troops.
On Sunday, world leaders agreed at a conference in Berlin to establish a so-called International Monitoring Committee (IFC), which seeks to implement the goals of the summit, namely to ensure a lasting ceasefire and implement a UN arms embargo which has been largely ignored for almost a decade.
Several European figures, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and European Union foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell suggested the possibility of deploying peacekeeping troops in Libya if a permanent ceasefire was agreed, although this was not part of the discussions.
The committee is scheduled to meet for the first time in the German capital in mid-February.
Libya has been in crisis since the overthrow in 2011 of lifelong leader Muammar Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival power forces.
The deeply divided country currently has two rival administrations: the National Agreement Government (GNA) recognized by the UN in Tripoli and another ally with the renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east.
The besieged Prime Minister of the country, Fayez al-Sarraj, enjoys the support of the UN and a Turkish military presence, but has struggled to assert his authority beyond Tripoli.
Haftar has the support of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. Its self-styled Libyan National Army controls vast expanses of territory in the oil-rich country of North Africa.
In April, Haftar forces launched an offensive to seize Tripoli, with clashes so far that they killed more than 280 civilians and 2,000 combatants and displaced tens of thousands.
On January 12, a fragile ceasefire backed by Turkey and Russia was established. source