July 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 June 2011
Download Complete Forecast: PDF


Expected Council Action
Council members are expecting the regular monthly briefing on Libya from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe in late July.

Agreement on the need for an end game in Libya has been a major preoccupation for Council members in recent days. Some convergence may be occurring. However, the dividing point remains over when Muammar Qaddafi might remove himself and his cohorts from political control. Leadership of mediation efforts in that regard has also been contentious. A presidential statement introduced on 14 June by Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa and competing US suggestions to that draft remain on the table for consideration in July.

The next meeting of the Libya Contact Group is anticipated for mid-July in Turkey.

Key Recent Developments
At press time, NATO air strikes against Libyan military capabilities under resolution 1973 continued. (On 1 June, NATO extended the operation to late September.)

On 27 June Pascoe, in the monthly briefing to the Council, said that the political process was in its nascent stages and the international community must send consistent messages to both Benghazi and Tripoli. 

Also on 27 June, South Africa’s Ambassador, Baso Sangqu, in remarks to the press said the situation in Libya has deteriorated with loss of civilian life and that South Africa’s intent when it voted for resolution 1973 was to ensure protection of civilians and humanitarian access and that a political, rather than a military, solution is the only way.

The ICC issued arrest warrants for Muammar Qaddafi, his son and his intelligence chief on 27 June for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution of civilians, recruitment of mercenaries and authorising attacks against protestors. On 8 June, in remarks to the press, the ICC prosecutor said his office was collecting evidence on allegations of sexual violence by regime forces in the Libyan conflict. 

On 18 June the UN, AU, Arab League, EU and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference met in Cairo to underscore the UN’s leading role in cooperation with these organisations for a Libyan transition.

On 15 June the foreign minister of Mauritania, in his capacity as chair of the AU High Level Ad-Hoc Committee on Libya, briefed the Council on its mediation efforts. Following the public briefing, the AU Committee members and Security Council members discussed the Libyan situation in an interactive dialogue which did not produce any results. 

On 14 June the African members of the Council circulated a draft presidential statement on Libya.

On 16 June the US introduced amendments to the draft underscoring that Qaddafi had lost legitimacy and must leave power and urging member states to recognise the Transitional National Council (TNC).

A revised version was circulated on 22 June that:

  • reaffirms the Council’s commitment to the full implementation of resolutions 1970 and 1973;
  • calls for a ceasefire and a political solution to the conflict;
  • supports the efforts of UN Special Envoy Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib and the partnership with the AU committee and other stakeholders (citing the 18 June Cairo meeting);
  • calls for humanitarian access; and
  • stresses accountability.

On 13 June, Germany recognised the TNC after a visit by its foreign minister to Benghazi. 

On 10 June media reports indicate that Turkey had suggested to the Tripoli regime that time was running out for an honourable exit to be negotiated for Qaddafi. 

On 9 June, Khatib briefed Council members via video-conference in informal consultations and said that for the first time both sides signalled a willingness to discuss political transition. However, he said, seemingly irreconcilable differences remained as to what that “political transition” means in Benghazi and Tripoli.

Also on 9 June the Libya Contact Group met in Abu Dhabi and:

  • reasserted that Qaddafi must leave power and endorsed the TNC’s road map for political transition;
  • encouraged those in Qaddafi’s regime who don’t want to be associated with human rights violations to defect;
  • reasserted the UN’s lead in facilitating dialogue and any political process and Khatib’s role in that regard;
  • welcomed UN post-conflict planning;
  • established a temporary financial mechanism to channel funds to the TNC (media reports indicate $1.3 billion in pledges against Benghazi’s stated need of $3 billion);
  • agreed to find a mechanism to unfreeze Libyan assets or use such assets as security for financing TNC obligations (the EU has endorsed such measures and the US is introducing legislation to allow such measures domestically);
  • encouraged finding ways the TNC would be able to export oil (there have been limited shipments via Qatar and one confirmed sale to the US); and
  • acknowledged AU efforts and looked forward to working with African states to reinforce the message that Qaddafi must go (it seems the AU attended the Abu Dhabi meeting as an observer but left its chair empty at the adoption of the statement).

Aspects of the UN post-conflict contingency planning undertaken by special adviser Ian Martin were shared in Abu Dhabi and include preliminary assessments in six areas: political process, security apparatus, rule of law and human rights, economic recovery, public administration and physical infrastructure. (This was also shared with Council members on 31 May in Pascoe’s briefing.) 

On 6 June, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania said, “Qaddafi can no longer lead…his departure has become necessary.” On 30 May, South African President Jacob Zuma visited Tripoli to discuss an exit strategy with Muammar Qaddafi. (Aziz is the chair and Zuma is a member of the AU’s High Level Ad Hoc Committee on Libya.)

On 27 May the G8 said that Qaddafi must leave power.

Developments in the Libya Sanctions Committee

On 24 June the Sanctions Committee announced that it had added two more individuals subject to a travel ban and assets freeze and one entity subject to the assets freeze. On 6 June the Committee met with its recently appointed panel of experts. The panel is expected to submit its interim report to the Council in August.

Human Rights-Related Developments

On 17 June the Human Rights Council urgently repeated its call to the Libyan authorities to cease all violations of human rights immediately and to cooperate fully with the Commission of Inquiry established last February. The Commission presented its first report on 9 June, which reached the conclusion that crimes against humanity and war crimes had been committed by Tripoli and provided estimates that between 10,000 and 15,000 had been killed during the conflict. The Commission’s mandate was extended with a request for an oral update in September and a final written report in March 2012.

Key Issues
Ongoing key issues for the Council include:

  • whether the Council can play a more active role in establishing parameters for political initiatives to secure an end-game in Libya; and
  • the divergence among members regarding the interpretation of resolution 1973.

An issue coming to the foreground is the humanitarian impact on the population under Qaddafi’s control and related access issues and the case for a ceasefire.

Potential issues for the Council in the future include:

  • the parameters for any ceasefire, including timing;
  • a UN role in any ceasefire-monitoring mechanism; and
  • a UN role in post-conflict Libya. 

One option for the Council is to find consensus on a presidential statement on the Libyan situation. More precise language on the terms of a ceasefire is one possibility. Another is tackling the question of political transition in a substantial way and finding middle ground between the AU position in this regard and the US position.

Further options are briefings from:

  • UN Special Envoy Khatib (at press time there was no confirmed date for his next round of talks but in recent months he has gone to Libya prior to the Contact Group meetings); and
  • Special Representative Margot Wallström on the alleged sexual violence aspects of the conflict.

Another option if mediation efforts seem to be gaining traction is involving Council members in more detail on post-conflict planning.

Another option for the Council in July is to continue to monitor the situation based on the regular Secretariat briefing. 

The option to designate more individuals and entities under the sanctions regime is still on the table in the sanctions committee. 

Council Dynamics
Since the G8 statement in late May, there now seems to be some agreement among a majority of Council members that political transition in Libya is an essential part of the end game and a political process leading to this is the way forward. 

Council members that have formally or de facto recognised the TNC include France, Germany, the UK and the US. China, Russia and South Africa are also openly engaging with Benghazi. In the context of the contact group, elected Council member Lebanon has sent similar signals.

However, the Libyan situation continues to polarize the Council. There are wide gaps over the best approach and some raw nerves over who is leading that effort. There also seems to be tension in the Council over how best to achieve humanitarian access in Qaddafi-controlled areas.

Regarding the ICC arrest warrants, some Council members welcomed the development in 27 June consultations. Other members remain concerned that the ICC indictments will continue to complicate already delicate mediation efforts.

The format of the 15 June AU Committee briefing was a point of tension among Council members. Some Council members were concerned that a public debate would not be constructive but were able to accept having the AU briefing in a public format. Others felt that without a full airing of the issues between the Committee and Council members, the AU would not get the focus that it wanted. It seems the interactive dialogue format was important in order to allow the non-Council members of the AU Committee a forum to exchange views with Council members. But despite the format, little was achieved.

Some Council members felt that the 15 June meeting solidified the gaps between the AU and UN approaches. 

In regard to the ongoing discusssions on a draft presidential statement, some Council members see value in a statement if it enables the Council to bridge those gaps, show a unified position on the Libyan situation and clear the soured atmosphere so that the Council can be effective on other issues that warrant its response.

Sign up for SCR emails
UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1973 (17 March 2011) authorised all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya and enforce the arms embargo, imposed a no-fly zone, strengthened the sanctions regime and established a panel of experts.
  • S/RES/1970 (26 February 2011) referred the situation in Libya to the ICC, imposed an arms embargo and targeted sanctions and established a sanctions committee.

Security Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6566 (27 June 2011) and S/PV.6541 (31 May 2011) were the most recent monthly briefings on Libya by Pascoe.
  • S/PV.6555 (15 June 2011) was the briefing by the AU High-Level Ad-Hoc Committee on Libya.

Security Council Letters

  • S/2011/350 (10 June 2011) was the joint communiqué of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council issued on 21 May in Addis Ababa.
  • S/2011/346 (31 May 2011) was from Qatar regarding oil exports from areas in Libya under the control of the TNC.

Human Rights Council

  • A/HRC/17/44 (1 June 2011) was the report of the Commission of Inquiry authorised in resolution A/HRC/S-15/2.

Other Relevant Facts

Chair of the Sanctions Committee

Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal)

Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts

  • Yousef Fahed Ahmed Alserhan, Jordan (maritime)
  • Oumer Dièye Sidi, Niger (customs)
  • Theodore M. Murphy, US (humanitarian and regional)
  • Giovanna Perri, Italy (finance)
  • Salim Raad, Lebanon (heavy weapons)
  • Savannah de Tessières, France (small arms and light weapons)
  • Ahmed Zerhouni, Algeria (aviation)

UN Special Envoy

Abdel-Elah Mohamed Al-Khatib (Jordan)

Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry

Cherif Bassiouni, Chair (Egypt); Asma Khader (Jordanian/Palestinian); Philippe Kirsch (Canada)

AU High Level Ad-Hoc Committee

Heads of state of Congo, Mali, Mauritania (Chair), South Africa, Uganda and the chair of the AU Commission.

International Contact Group

Bahrain; a rotating seat shared by Belgium and the Netherlands; Bulgaria; Canada; France; Germany; Greece; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Malta; Morocco; a Nordic seat shared by Denmark, Norway and Sweden; Poland; Qatar; Spain; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; UK; USA and representatives from the Arab League, EU, GCC, NATO, OIC and the UN. The AU, Cyprus, Egypt, Romania, South Africa and Sudan attend as observers.

Commander for NATO Operations under Resolution 1973

Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard (Canada)

Full Forecast 

Subscribe to receive SCR publications