The heaviest task At the international level, it remains for Batili to balance the camp of Western countries on the one hand, led by the United States, China and Russia on the other side, and domestically, he faced opposition from the government of Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba before he was even officially assigned.
Why does Dabaiba object?
The government of Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba objected to Batili “not to his person,” according to a previous statement, but said that it “aspired that the new UN envoy would be more qualified.”
The United Nations, in the words of its spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, responded that the selection of the UN envoy is an “issue that does not concern the Libyan parties”, given that the Security Council is responsible for appointing “the heads of peacekeeping missions or political missions.”
The “neglect” of the United Nations of the outgoing head of government is due to “being a party to the conflict,” and that it “is not a true representative of the Libyan state and the people,” as explains the head of the Silviom Foundation for Research and Studies, Jamal Shallouf, who believes that the closest explanation for this refusal is that it On behalf of regional and international parties.
The Dabaiba government, and speaking here to “Shalouf,” fears Batili implementing the recommendations of the evaluation committee of the United Nations mission that he headed in the middle of the year, the most important of which is the restructuring of the mission, where the stay of its employees for long periods in Libya has called into question the issue of their neutrality.
“This issue arose after suspicions that members of the Committee of the Political Dialogue Forum had received bribes when the selection of the Dabaiba government was announced, and then the discussion about this matter subsided without publishing a fact-finding report on it, amid suspicious silence from the mission and the Security Council,” according to Shallouf.
Ending the chaos
The Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere, denied that Dabaiba’s opposition to Batelli’s appointment was a problem in the attempt to end the political crisis in Libya.
De Riviere said, in a press conference, that the leadership of the United Nations mission in Libya over the past two years has been “chaotic”, and it is time for the mission to have someone to lead it and “take the lead in the negotiations”, adding that “everyone will cooperate with him.”
The choice of Batili during the current period, and after the clashes that took place in the capital, Tripoli, is an indication of the existence of regional understandings to achieve calm and remedy the situation in Libya before further escalation occurs, according to political analyst Faraj Zaidan.
The Senegalese envoy has a very big chance for the success of his mission due to the change in the situation of international actors in Libya, after the differences were deep between them, there has become a great rapprochement between them, and therefore they will push for the existence of a new authority that will reach through the elections, and the matter now requires ending the division in the executive authority, according to Zaidan.
Batelli’s nomination came in response to Guterres’ repeated demands from African countries to assign a candidate from the continent who has the support of the African Union, who blames the United Nations on marginalizing the African role in the political process in Libya.
Batelli previously held the position of head of the inspection committee of the United Nations mission in Libya last year. He also held the position of Special Envoy of the Secretary-General in Africa, in addition to many other tasks of the international organization, the last of which was his work as an independent expert in the affairs of the region.
Former international envoys to Libya
The Senegalese became the eighth envoy of the United Nations since the establishment of its mission to Libya in 2011. He was preceded by:
- Abd al-Ilah al-Khatib: A former Jordanian foreign minister who took the job from April to September 2011.
- Ian Martin: British diplomat who held the post between September 2011 and October 2012.
- Tarek Mitri: A Lebanese academic and politician who took on the mission from October 2012 until August 2014.
- Bernardino Leon, a Spanish diplomat who took office from August 2014 to November 2015.
- Martin Kobler: German diplomat appointed from 17 November 2015 to 21 June 2017.
- Ghassan Salameh: Academic and former Lebanese minister, appointed from June 2017 until March 2020.
- Stephanie Williams: An American diplomat who assumed the mission of the UN envoy in Al-Abanah in March 2020, then last December became the adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Libya, and left her position at the end of last July.
- Jan Kubic: A Slovak diplomat who took up the assignment in January 2021 and resigned in November of the same year.