UN extends mission in Libya
NEW YORK – Anadolu Agency
REUTERS photoThe United Nations Security Council decided on extending the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until June 15 to help the country to establish a government.
The resolution requested U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution at least every 60 days.
UNSMIL is a special political mission established in 2011 by the Security Council in its resolution at the request of the Libyan authorities following six months of armed conflict.
Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since 2011, when a bloody rebellion ended with the fall and death of longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, the eastern House of Representatives (HOR) in Tobruk and the rival General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, each of which has its own military capacity and legislative assembly.
Libya’s U.N.-backed Presidential Council called on the country’s institutions March 12 to begin a transfer of authority to a unity government, and appealed to the international community to stop dealing with any rival powers.
Meanwhile, the British Defense Ministry said in a statement that it has no plans to extend bombing or send troops to Libya after a committee of lawmakers said the nation could deploy a force of 1,000, according to AFP.
The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee had said that Britain could be part of a 6,000-strong international force in Libya.
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon was expected to agree Britain’s contribution to the force at a conference in Europe this week, the committee added.
But a government spokeswoman said that the Foreign Affairs Committee was “wrong on a number of counts.”
“There are no plans to extend airstrikes to Libya nor are there plans to send British troops to provide security on the ground in Libya,” the spokeswoman said on March 15.
“It is therefore also wrong to suggest the Defense Secretary will agree any U.K. contribution this week.”
Western countries have agreed that action is needed to dislodge Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Libya but world powers say they want a national unity government to request help before formally intervening.