The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, on Friday appointed Senegalese diplomat Abdallah Batele as the UN envoy to Libya, nearly nine months after the position became vacant.
And theThe Libyan Presidential Council expressed its hope for the contribution of the new UN envoy to help the Libyans transition to the civil democratic state that the people aspire to, praising the experience of the Senegalese diplomat and his briefing on the Libyan file.
For its part, the US embassy in Libya said that the US special envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, discussed with the Prime Minister-designate of Parliament, Fathi Bashagha, “the urgent need for all parties to work with the new UN envoy to develop a clear roadmap for holding early elections.”
The United Nations said in a statement that Batelli previously served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Mission (MINUSMA) from 2013 to 2014.
She added that Batele, who held various ministerial positions in the Senegalese government, also served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Central Africa and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa in Gabon from 2014 to 2016.
The statement noted that Batelli also served as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Madagascar, and served as an independent expert for the strategic review of the United Nations Office for West Africa.
And theaArmed Libyan factions clashed in the western outskirts of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, late Friday evening and Saturday morning, after a week of the bloodiest violence in two years. The clashes killed at least 42 people, including 4 civilians, and injured more than 159.
In mid-August, the Libyan National Unity Government, dismissed by the parliament headed by Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, objected to Batili’s candidacy, which may complicate the task of the new envoy in converging views between the parties to the Libyan conflict.
The division in Libya is exacerbated by the presence of two competing governments, the first in Tripoli that emerged from a political agreement a year and a half ago, headed by Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, who refuses to hand over power except to an elected government, and the second headed by Fathi Bashagha, appointed by Parliament last February, and takes Sirte (central) as its temporary headquarters. After she was prevented from entering Tripoli, despite her attempt to do so.
The international envoy to Libya, the Slovak Jan Kubis, resigned abruptly last November, and since then this position has remained vacant because the Security Council, whose approval is necessary, rejected several proposals for names made by the Secretary-General.
In December 2021, Guterres announced the appointment of US diplomat Stephanie Williams as his advisor on the Libyan issue, to carry out a task described as arduous, which was to bring the views of the conflicting parties closer, in preparation for reaching a political solution that would end the ongoing crisis since the overthrow of the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Despite the support that Williams received from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, she was opposed to her presence in her position as a special envoy on Libyan affairs, especially from Russia.
Reuters said that with the UN Security Council divided, it is “unclear how much influence Abdullah Batili will have in this position.”
According to an Associated Press report last January, the position of the UN envoy to Libya became a problem after the resignation of the UN Special Representative, Jan Kubis, who was based in Geneva, rather than Tripoli, and has close relations with Moscow.