Resolution Renewing UNSMIL’s Mandate
On Monday (13 June), the Security Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until 15 December. The draft passed through silence procedure yesterday (9 June) and is now in blue.
The draft follows the recommendation of the 16 May report of the Secretary-General (S/2016/452) to renew UNSMIL’s mandate for six months. In this period, the mission is expected to continue to support the establishment of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the country.
The Council renewed the mandate for just three months with the 15 March adoption of resolution 2273, with the idea of adjusting the mission’s mandate once the GNA was sworn in to reflect the needs of Libya’s transition. However, the GNA has yet to be formed; given the outstanding political divisions in the country and the lack of endorsement for the GNA by the House of Representatives, the Council has decided to extend UNSMIL’s current tasks for six additional months.
The draft recognises how since 30 March UNSMIL has facilitated a consistent presence in Libya to support the Presidency Council of the GNA, and encourages the mission to re-establish a permanent presence in Libya through a phased return, as security conditions allow, and to make the necessary security arrangements to this effect.
The negotiation process was smooth. One of the few issues raised during the negotiations was a reference included in the original draft to unified and strengthened national security forces “under the sole authority of the GNA”. Egypt and Russia questioned this reference, and in the end language was added to ensure that this was “in accordance with the Libyan Political Agreement”. This position seems to be in line with a 2 June letter (S/2016/508) from the permanent representative of Libya, Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, in which Dabbashi questioned the Secretary-General’s report for equating the Libyan National Army under the command of General Khalifa Haftar with other armed groups. Dabbashi also said that it was premature “to talk today about forces controlled by the GNA” in the public briefing on Monday (6 June).
Meanwhile, Council members continue negotiating a draft resolution that would authorise EU NAVFOR MED Operation Sophia to interdict ships on the high seas off the coast of Libya in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo. Discussions continue over issues regarding flag-state consent and the use of force.