November 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 October 2011
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Expected Council Action
The Council is likely to remain focused on post-conflict Libya in December as the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) deploys to its full capacity. Ian Martin, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNSMIL, is expected to brief the Council.   

Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal) and chair of the Libyan Sanctions Committee is also expected to brief the Council.

The Council is expected to extend UNSMIL’s mandate by three months in a technical rollover prior to its expiry on 16 December.

Key Recent Developments
Fighting broke out, on 31 October, between the armed militia from the town of Zintan and Tripoli Brigade. (Tripoli Brigade provided frontline troops during the taking of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s Bab Al-Azizia compound in Tripoli in late August.) On 13 November, deadly clashes, lasting a few days, between armed groups from Zawiya and Warshefana led to 13 reported deaths.

On 19 November, Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, Qaddafi’s son and onetime heir-apparent, was captured in southern Libya while trying to flee the country. Media reports, yet to be confirmed by the National Transitional Council (NTC), indicate that Abdullah Al-Senussi, former Intelligence Chief, was arrested in a separate incident the following day. Earlier, on 2 November, the Council had received its second briefing on Libya from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo. Moreno-Ocampo said that his office will impartially investigate allegations of crimes committed by NATO and forces aligned with the NTC.

On 22 November, the ICC decided to terminate its case against the late Colonel Qaddafi following his death as Moreno Ocampo travelled to Tripoli to discuss arrangements with the NTC for the respective trials of the two remaining indictees. (The NTC has said it will try Saif Qaddafi in Libya.) On 23 November, the ICC indicated that should Libya wish to prosecute Qaddafi, the NTC would have to submit a challenge to the admissibility of the case before Pre-Trial Chamber I as any “decision on the admissibility of a case is under the sole competence of the Judges of the ICC”.

On 31 October, the NTC appointed Abdul Rahim Keib as the new interim Prime Minister. On 2 November, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the General Assembly, made an unannounced visit to Tripoli. They met with senior NTC members, including Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the NTC’s chairperson. In their meetings, Ban discussed the formation of an inclusive interim government and pledged the UN’s continued support to assist Libya. On 11 November, Ban briefed the Council on his visit to Tripoli.

On 16 November, Mahmoud Jibril, former NTC Prime Minister, said that there was a dangerous political vacuum in Libya. Jibril said the current timetable for drafting a constitution by mid-2013 should be replaced with a faster process. (According to a timetable agreed by the NTC in August, a transitional government is to organise the election of a 200-member assembly or “general national congress” within eight months from liberation day, 23 October. The NTC will step down once the congress holds its first session. The congress will then have up to 30 days to name a prime minister, whose newly formed government will be put to a confidence vote and form a commission to draw up a constitution. One month later, the constitution will be put to a referendum. If it is adopted, the congress will have 30 days to draw up an electoral law, and polls are to be held within six months. The congress will have 30 days to approve the results of the election and to convene an elected parliament, formally ending the transition period.)

The NTC announced a new cabinet for the provisional government on 22 November. Most members of the new government took oath on 26 November. Ashour Bin Hayal was named as the new Foreign Minister, whereas, Osama Al-Juwali, commander of the Zintan forces who captured Saif Qaddafi, was appointed as the Defence Minister.

On 31 October, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2017 on the non-proliferation of arms, in particular Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) stolen from the arsenal of the former regime. The resolution also notes the threat from chemical weapons stockpiles and other small arms.

On 18 November, Libya was reinstated as a member of the Human Rights Council (HRC) after a ballot in the General Assembly. (Libya is the only member of the HRC that has ever been suspended for human rights violations.)

Martin, in a briefing to the Council on 28 November noted that security was an immediate challenge and that Libya’s urgent need for liquid funds was directly connected to the provision of security. Martin also cited proliferation of SAMs and other arms as a concern. He noted that on 20 November the NTC officially appointed an eight-member committee to study the requirements of elections in Libya. He concluded the briefing by highlighting the Secretary-General’s recommendation of UNSMIL’s mandate renewal for another three months.

On 11 November, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger confirmed that Saadi Qaddafi, the late Qaddafi’s third son, had been granted asylum on humanitarian grounds. The INTERPOL had issued a Red Notice on 29 September to locate and arrest Saadi Qaddafi, the first of its kind issued on the request of the Libyan transitional authorities. Earlier, on 8 November, a Tunisian appeals court approved the extradition of former Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, who had entered Tunisia on 22 September. The NTC had requested the Tunisian government to return Al-Mahmoudi to Libya to be tried. (Saadi Qaddafi and Al-Mahmoudi are not on the ICC arrest list.)  

On 13 November, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Al-Arabi met with Jalil in Tripoli and discussed means of supporting Libya in a post-Qaddafi era.

On 16 November, Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AU Commission, issued an open letter highlighting the AU’s efforts in resolving the Libyan crisis since its beginning in February 2011. Ping rejected reports that the AU’s actions in Libya were motivated by a desire to protect the late Qaddafi.

On 21 November, US Ambassador Susan Rice visited Tripoli where she held meetings with Jalil, Keib and Martin.

Human Rights-Related Developments
In a statement during the Human Rights Council’s 9 November open debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, reported that her office had held initial discussions on transitional justice with the new Libyan authorities and would continue its engagement through UNSMIL. Pillay added that given the seriousness and extent of the crimes committed in the past, the need for protecting human rights in the administration of transitional justice is colossal and pressing. The High Commissioner also reported that the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya would continue to investigate alleged violations by all sides until it presents its final report to the Human Rights Council in March. An advance team began work in Libya at the end of October, with the Commission itself scheduled to arrive in Libya in early December. Pillay also observed that where basic human rights are trampled and peaceful demands for change are met by brutal violence, people are eventually compelled to have recourse to rebellion against tyranny and oppression.


Developments in the Libya Sanctions Committee
Resolution 2017 asks the Committee to work with the panel of experts and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and other UN bodies to assess threats and challenges created by the proliferation of arms from Libya and to provide the Council with proposals to counter the threat.  

The Committee is next expected to meet in December and the chair of the Committee is expected to brief the Council later in the month.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is its role in ensuring a transition from conflict to peacebuilding in Libya and preventing large-scale reprisals and killings in a post-conflict Libya. Determining the role and timeframe for UNSMIL and ensuring its full deployment as well as effective functioning are key related issues for the Council

Another key issue for the Council is its role in the implementation of resolution 1970 with regards to its referral of the Libyan situation to the ICC and any referral-related trials.

Preventing the spread of sporadic violence between various armed rebel factions as well as divisions within the NTC before the interim government is fully functional is an important issue for the Council.  

The prevention of proliferation of heavy weaponry in a post-conflict Libya continues to be an issue for Council members.

Minimising the impact of the recent conflict and its aftermath on the civilian population 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.

The Council’s options for UNSMIL could be either extending UNSMIL’s mandate through a technical rollover or adjusting UNSMIL’s current mandate in accordance with the needs of the new interim government. In addition, the Council could continue to receive regular briefings on UNSMIL and the new interim government to keep abreast of the key developments in Libya.

The Council, with regards to the ICC, could request an up-to-date briefing from Moreno Ocampo, or more pointedly but less likely, by reminding Libya of its obligations under resolution 1970 and the Rome Statute of the ICC.

The Council could revisit any outstanding sanctions imposed on Libya and alter these by a new resolution(s) in due course.

The Council could consider further measures on weapons proliferation after its next briefing from the sanctions committee, in particular on SAMs.

Council Dynamics
During the P5 discussions concerning the draft of resolution 2017, the situation in Libya was initially seen as a Chapter VII matter by some P5 members. That was disputed by other P5 members, who deemed Chapter VII inclusion unnecessary as it calls for sanctions in the case of noncompliance of parties involved. Moreover, the initial draft proposed by Russia, was expanded considerably to take stock of inputs from various members, including language on the need to eliminate chemical weapons stockpiles, greater emphasis on the regional implications of this threat and more specific language on Libya’s obligations under international law. Interest from other Council members in highlighting the proliferation of small arms and light weapons as an issue of concern was also included in the resolution.

Furthermore, Germany feels that the panel of experts should report directly to the Security Council and not—as provided in resolution 2017—through the Sanctions Committee. Direct reporting, Germany indicates, will preserve the independence of such panels.

Most Council members seem content to take a comfortable distance on the issue of where the ICC indictees should be tried, notwithstanding the fact that the ICC only became seized of the situation in Libya due to a Council referral.

Resolution 1970  and 1973, as well as the no-fly-zone, generated much heated debate amongst Council members. This issue continues to be a source of contention extending to other items on the agenda of the Council as some Council members felt that other members, wrongly, took it upon themselves to use military force. Notwithstanding these differences, the Council is likely to focus on assisting the electoral process and the establishment of new institutions given the recent developments.

The UK is the lead country on Libya.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/2017 (31 October 2011) discusses the non-proliferation of SAMs, Chemical weapons stockpiles and other small arms.
  • 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-General’s Report

  • S/2011/727 (22 November 2011) was an update report on UNSMIL.

Latest Meeting Record

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)

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