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Why did the UN Special Envoy, Ján Kubiš resign a month before the Libyan presidential elections?

Jan Kubis resigned before libyan elections
Jan Kubis (File Photo/Agencies)

The UN special envoy for Libya, Ján Kubiš has quit just a month before crucial presidential elections in the war-torn nation without giving Security Council members a reason for his sudden departure. In addition, Russia’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, told reporters he had no indication of his reasons for leaving and was seeking to find out more. The 15 members of the security council were informed of Kubiš’s resignation earlier. The UN seeks to end a decade of violence in the oil-rich nation since a Nato-backed uprising that toppled and killed strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 for the first time Libya’s direct presidential poll is due to take place on 24 December.

Ján Kubiš (born 12 November 1952) is a Slovak diplomat and former Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 2015 until 2018, he served as the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). Also, he was the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). From July 2006 until January 2009 he served as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.

Ján Kubiš was appointed as United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon in 2019 by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, and then he became head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya in January 2021. Ján Kubiš may feel he doesn’t have enough support because several members calling for the envoy’s post to be transferred from Geneva to Tripoli, and the UN Security Council recently split over whether to reconfigure the leadership of the global body’s political mission in Libya. On the other hand, diplomats said Kubis had been reluctant to undertake such a move.

The Security Council recently split over whether to reconfigure the leadership of the global body’s political mission in Libya, with several members calling for the envoy’s post to be transferred from Geneva to Tripoli suddenly. In Libya’s electoral commission, 98 candidates including two women have submitted applications to be on the presidential ballot. Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow in 2011. After that, in 2019 the two major sides in Libya’s war – the internationally recognized Government of National Accord and Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army – agreed on a ceasefire.

Parliamentary and presidential elections on Dec. 24 were demanded by a U.N. political forum last year as part of a roadmap to end Libya’s civil war. However, disputes over the planned vote threaten to derail the peace process.

The first-round presidential vote will be on Dec. 24 and the parliamentary election has been delayed to January or February, we don’t know the reason according to Kubiš sudden exit comes a day after the close of presidential nominations.

The strange thing is the most notable hopefuls are Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and Khalifa Haftar, leader of the self-styled Libyan National Army. In addition, the runnings are former interior minister Fathi Bashagha and Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah of the interim, UN-brokered Government of National Unity. According to Libya’s electoral commission, 98 candidates including two women have submitted applications to be on the presidential ballot. As a result of the Kubiš envoy’s resignation Aِfrica, which had stepped up the pressure in 2020 for the envoy to be from the continent rather than Europe.

© The Eastern Herald
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