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March 03, 2020

UN Envoy For Libya Resigns, Amid Breakdown Of Truce

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The UN envoy for Libya announced his resignation as a fragile cease-fire in the North African country continued to break down.

The United Nations on Monday 2 March confirmed the resignation of Ghassan Salame, the UN's top envoy for Libya.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has received a message from Salame expressing his intention to leave the post, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres' spokesman. 

Salame, who is Lebanese, was appointed special representative of the secretary-general and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya in June 2017. Enditem

Salame resigned amid an escalation in fighting in Libya, and just days after he announced the near breakdown of a shaky truce between the country’s two rival governments.

While hosting diplomatic talks in Geneva last week, Salame had exposed a rift within the delegations representing the Tripoli government and the eastern-based government, which is allied with ex-general Khalifa Haftar

Military commander Khalifa Haftar's forces, the largest of a series of militia and rebel groups in Libya, have been vying for control of the country with the internationally-recognized government based in the capital, advancing on Tripoli in recent months. 

Libya has been engaged in civil war since 2011, when former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. 

Today, Libya is divided between two centers of power — an elected parliament in the country's east, supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west, headed by Fayez Sarraj.  

The Haftar-led LNA, supported for years by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and a number of Western countries, controls eastern Libya and has in recent months advanced toward the northern part of the country.
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