November 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 October 2011
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Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to remain focused on post-conflict Libya in November as the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) deploys to its full capacity. The Council expects a number of briefings in November including Ian Martin, Special Representative and head of UNSMIL; B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs; and Luis Moreno Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

UNSMIL mandate expires in mid-December.

Key Recent Developments
Qaddafi was captured on 20 October and killed later that day. On 20 October, the Secretary-General reacted to Qaddafi’s death by calling on all sides in Libya to lay down their arms and work together. On the same day, Martin said in a videoconference addressed to the media that if Qaddafi had remained at large there would have been a sense of insecurity. He added that a great deal had to be done to bring a real sense of security to all sections of the Libyan community and territory. However, Martin noted that UNSMIL remained committed to assisting the National Transitional Council (NTC), which faced considerable challenges.

On 23 October, the NTC leadership formally declared national liberation in Benghazi and its Chairman, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, called for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Martin briefed the Council on 26 October and said that the NTC’s formal declaration of the liberation of Libya meant that the time had come for the NTC to fulfil its pledges by:

  • establishing an interim government within 30 days;
  • adopting an electoral legislation and setting up an electoral body in 90 days; and,
  • holding elections for the national congress in 240 days.

Martin highlighted key areas of concern as:

  • preparations for the elections;
  • establishment of public security; and
  • non-proliferation of weapons, in particular, Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS).

On 6 October, a NATO meeting in Brussels reiterated the commitment to protect Libyan civilians and NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that the organisation was close to completing its mission. On 21 October, Rasmussen said that NATO had taken a preliminary decision to end its operation on 31 October. However, he added that the organisation will continue to monitor the situation and would respond to threats to civilians, if needed.

On 27 October, the Council adopted resolution resolution 2016  terminating the provisions of resolution 1973 allowing the use of force to protect civilians and ensuring the no-fly zone, effectively ending the authorisation for the NATO military operation in Libya on 31 October 2011.

At press time, Council members were considering a second draft resolution dealing with the proliferation of arms, in particular MANPADS stolen from the arsenal of the late Qaddafi.

On 17 October, UK Foreign Minister William Hague visited Tripoli and urged NTC leaders to move more quickly towards ending the civil war and forming an interim government. On 18 October, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Tripoli to meet senior NTC leaders, seeking to cement US partnership with the NTC.

On 20 October, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) issued a communiqué authorising the NTC to represent Libya in the AU and its organs. The communiqué also called for the establishment of an AU liaison office in Tripoli. More importantly, the communiqué requested the Council to lift its no-fly zone and the ban on flights.

Human Rights-Related Developments
In a 10 October statement, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, expressed concern about the impact on civilians of continued fighting in and around Sirte. Amos called on all parties to spare civilians and to comply with international humanitarian law. Her comments echoed those of Georg Charpentier, the deputy head of UNSMIL, who had earlier visited both Misrata and the outskirts of Sirte as part of a humanitarian assessment mission.

On 18 October, following a mission to Libya to assess the country’s human rights priorities, senior representatives of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported their findings at a press conference in Geneva. OHCHR estimates that as many as 7,000 people are being held in detention in Libya, presenting the interim administration with one of its most pressing and complex challenges. Describing existing conditions for the detainees as “a recipe for abuse,” OHCHR said there was no functioning police force and a justice system had yet to be reestablished. OHCHR said that the commission of inquiry established by the Human Rights Council will return to Libya in November. On 25 October, Philippe Kirsch, Chairperson of the Independent Commission of Inquiry in Libya (ICIL) urged the NTC to ensure that all detainees under their control were treated with due respect for their human rights. Kirsch also asked the NTC to conduct impartial investigations into allegations of violations of the rights of the detainees. The ICIL was established in February by the Human Rights Council.

On 21 October, OHCHR called for a probe into Qaddafi’s death to determine whether he was killed as a result of crossfire between loyalists and the NTC forces or executed by the NTC after his capture. In an interview with the UN News Centre on 24 October, OHCHR spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, welcomed reports that Libya will set up an independent commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Qaddafi’s death.

Developments in the Libya Sanctions Committee
Resolution 2016 does not impact the proceedings of the Sanctions Committee. There have been no significant developments in the Committee since the last reporting period. The Committee is next expected to meet in early December.

Key Issues
Determining the role and timeframe for UNSMIL and ensuring its full deployment as well as effective functioning are key issues for the Council.

A related key issue for the Council is its role in ensuring a transition from conflict to peacebuilding in Libya and preventing large-scale revenge reprisals and killings in post-Qaddafi Libya.

The prevention of proliferation of heavy weaponry in a post-conflict Libya may become an issue for Council members.

Minimising the impact of the recent conflict and its aftermath on the civilian population, in particular in Sirte and Bani Walid, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance are two further closely related issues for the Council.

Another issue is the need for the continued coordination of efforts of various stakeholders and other international bodies in supporting the NTC and the interim government, when it is formed.

The Council’s options include:

  • receiving regular briefings on UNSMIL and closely monitoring the role of the NTC and the new government—when it is formed;
  • dealing with the proliferation of missing weaponry, in particular MANPADS;
  • revisiting other sanctions imposed on Libya; and
  • revisiting UNSMIL’s mandate.

Council Dynamics
Some Council members feel that UNSMIL status briefings should be kept separate from the briefings on the status of resolutions 1970, 1973 and to some degree 2009. They believe this necessary to retain the clear focus that two separate issues require. However, other members find two different briefings a duplication of effort. At present, the Council members have agreed to keep the two briefings separate, albeit on the same day.

During the discussions concerning the draft of resolution 2016 some Council members felt that it was necessary to address the protection of civilians and the no-fly zone issues soon after the formal declaration of liberation by the NTC in a post-Qaddafi Libya, originally imposed in resolution 1973. It was felt that NATO should not take a unilateral decision in continuing or halting its operations without the Council’s approval. Other members felt that a resolution dealing with the aforementioned issues needed to be more comprehensive and had to take into consideration the NTC’s requests and needs. However, this debate was further complicated due to the NTC’s mixed messages to the Council that highlight an internal power struggle amongst its various elements.

UK is the lead country on Libya but resolution 2016 was a UK-Russia collaboration.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/2016 (27 October 2011) lifted the no-fly zone and the provisions for the use of force for the protection of civilians.
  • S/RES/2009 (16 September 2011) authorised the deployment of UNSMIL and partially lifted sanctions.
  • 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.6640 (27 October 2011)  was the Council meeting during which resolution 2016 was adopted.
  • S/PV.6639 (26 October 2011) was Ian Martin’s briefing to the Council.

Security Council Letters

  • S/2011/588 (19 September 2011) and S/2011/587 (16 September 2011) was an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the Council noting the appointment of Ian Martin as the head of UNSMIL.

Other Relevant Facts

Chair of the Sanctions Committee

Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal)

Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts

  • Youseif Fahed Ahmed Alserhan, Jordan (maritime)
  • Oumar Dièye Sidi, Niger (customs)
  • Simon Dilloway, UK (finance)
  • 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)

Head of UNSMIL

Ian Martin (UK)

Commander for NATO Operations under Resolution 1973

Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard (Canada)

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