UN extends mandate for support mission in Libya

On Thursday 14 September, the Security Council unanimously agreed to a one-year extension of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to encourage the political process under the ceasefire agreed between Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj and Libyan National Army General (LNA) Khalifa Haftar.

The extension occurred after the so-called Islamic State (IS) repeatedly increases its activity in the main oil field of Libya, around the coastal city of Sirte, as reported by the Reuters news agency on 4 September, referring to statements by the rival GNA and LNA. However, the IS is not the only group trying to fill the power vacuum in the conflict-prone country as Russia has been increasing its support of the LNA. Experts remain skeptical of the adherence to the agreed ceasefire, given the growing power of General Haftar in the country. Moreover, international mediation of the conflict complicates disagreements between Italy and France. The UN decision was preceded by a meeting of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with British and French representatives to discuss the support for the political transition, underlining the importance of the 2018 Libyan elections and the finalising the new constitution.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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