Kobler Says UN Will Only Back GNA in Libya

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)


The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) is “crumbling” said Martin Kobler, the UN special envoy to Libya. Constant power cuts, a weak economy and lack of security are signs that the GNA is struggling to keep it together.

The GNA has been faced with the overwhelming challenge of unifying a broken and troubled country amidst chaos in addition to managing international support that has been inconsistent at best.

Leaked documents showed that some western countries, including Britain, France and the US have been supporting the GNA’s rival General Khalifa Haftar, making it more difficult for the GNA to establish full authority over the country.

Kobler said to Neue Zuercher Zeitung, a daily newspaper in Switzerland, that there was no chance the UN would support any other government other than the GNA. However, Kobler did admit that the GNA has lost the momentum it gathered when it first arrived in Tripoli in March.

Kobler said that 95 percent of Libyans supported the GNA, however “that was in April. There was a lot of goodwill at that time for the unity government, however, it has lost some support since then.

“At the time Tripoli had 20 hours of electricity a day, now it is 12 … In April people had to pay 3.5 dinars for a dollar. Today it is 5 dinars. That is devastating for an import-oriented economy. Support is crumbling.”

Kobler said that US airstrikes alone will not end the presence of ISIS in Libya, and that the GNA needs more support from within the country for it to succeed in fulfilling its mandate.

“Strikes by the Americans alone cannot defeat IS. The fight has to be a Libyan one. It will be won with ground troops,” said Kobler.

US Sends Special Operations Troops to Libya

Tensions Between Rival Powers in Libya Threaten its Future