UN Extends Mandate of UN Mission in Libya

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

Security Council votes to extend mandate of UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

The United Nations Security Council decided on Tuesday to extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for six more months, until December 15.

The Council also encouraged UNSMIL to re-establish a permanent presence in Libya through a phased return and expressed its support of the UN operation and its head, Martin Kobler.

The 15-member body also reaffirmed its support of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Presidency Council, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, as the sole legitimate government in Libya.

In addition, the Council also urged the House of Representatives to uphold its commitment of the Libyan Political Agreement and to give a vote of confidence to the GNA.

The Council urged the GNA to support reconciliation and emphasized the “importance of all parties in Libya engaging constructively with the Libyan Political Agreement in good faith and with sustained political will.”

Members of the Council also called on Serraj to “finalize interim security arrangements for stabilizing Libya as a critical step towards tackling the country’s political, security, humanitarian, economic and institutional challenges and to combat the threat of terrorism.”

In addition, the UN Security Council was set to authorize Operation Sophia, the European Union’s naval mission to combat human trafficking in the Mediterranean, to enforce the arms embargo on Libya at sea.

This move would help the GNA in its efforts to unite the country, as it would curb the large number of illegal weapons empowering Libya’s various militias

Martin Kobler expressed last week that the 20 million pieces of weaponry in a land of six million people “do not fall from the sky, but come in increasingly through illegal shipments by sea and by land,” he said. “These arms fuel the conflict. These shipments must end if there is to be any serious hope of bringing peace to Libya.”

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