UN to name peace envoy to Libya


The UN Security Council asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy to broker peace in Libya, with Russia and China abstained from voting on the resolution extending the UN mission in the country.

Ghassan Salame, previous UN political mission head charged with mediating peace, quit in March due to stress. Guterres informally proposed a replacement but the US wanted the role split to have one person run the UN mission and a special envoy to focus on mediation.

The Security Council agreed to that on Tuesday.

“With the new structure, we have to present a new candidate and have to consult with the Security Council ,” Guterres told Reuters in an interview.

The Security Council traditionally agrees – informally – by consensus to such appointments. Several months ago, the US proposed Guterres appoint former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt as special envoy, but diplomats said she withdrew.

Russia and China abstained on the resolution because it did not include their suggested amendments.

“I’m shocked by the fact that so many spoilers, so many countries, have interfered in the Libyan situation, building up military capacity on both sides completely disregarding resolutions in relation to the arms embargo and mercenaries,” Guterres told Reuters.