UN renews Libyan mission amid ceasefire efforts
The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the support mission in Libya (Unsmil) by a year in an effort to assist the country’s severely damaged political transition and to try and deliver a ceasefire.
It comes after the UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salamé, warned that the country was on the verge of descending into an all-out war that could lead to its possible permanent division.
Mr Salamé said the fighting was fuelled by foreign military support for the two main warring parties – in violation of a UN arms embargo.
The UN Security Council reiterated its call for all parties to commit to a lasting ceasefire and expanded Unsmil’s role to provide support for such a truce.
It expressed concern over ongoing hostilities in and around the capital, Tripoli, which began in April when eastern forces under the command of Gen Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take control of the city from the UN-backed government.
Opposing factions, including extremist groups, have battled for control of Libya since 2011 when long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown.
Gen Haftar enjoys some support from France, the US and Russia.
The UN resolution called on countries to not intervene in the conflict.