UN's Libya envoy resigns, citing no hope for political progress

AFP , Tuesday 16 Apr 2024

The UN's special envoy for Libya said Tuesday he had tendered his resignation, saying the world body could not successfully support the country's political transition as its leaders had put their own interests above finding a solution.

Abdoulaye Bathily
Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya Abdoulaye Bathily. Photo courtesy of UN support mission in Libya (UNSMIL)


"I tendered my resignation to the Secretary-General," Senegalese diplomat Abdoulaye Bathily told reporters after a Security Council meeting where he painted a somber picture of the situation in the North African country, riven by conflict and civil war for over a decade.

The UN support mission in Libya (UNSMIL) "made a lot of efforts under my leadership over the last 18 months," but the situation has deteriorated, Bathily said, condemning a "lack of political will and good faith" by Libyan leaders.

He called the situation "sad" as "the bulk of the Libyan population want to get out of this mess."

"Under the circumstances, there is no way the UN can operate successfully," he concluded. "There is no room for a solution in the future."

Bathily also announced the delay of a national reconciliation conference, originally scheduled for April 28. A new date has not been set.

Libya is still struggling to recover from years of war and chaos after the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Although relative calm has returned to the oil-rich country in the past four years, clashes periodically occur between its myriad armed groups.

The country is divided between a UN-recognized government based in Tripoli and a rival administration in the country's east.

"The selfish resolve of current leaders to maintain the status quo through delaying tactics and maneuvers at the expense of the Libyan people must stop," Bathily said.

Bathily had been named to his position in September 2022, after the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Jan Kubis in November of the year prior.

Short link: