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Why Did UN Envoy Ghassan Salame Quit? – OpEd


At an unexpected time the UN envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame stepped down due to health reasons. His resignation comes amid an escalation in fighting in the country, and just days after he announced the near breakdown of a shaky cease-fire between the country’s two rival governments.

This explained that he failed in the reconciliation efforts and the cease-fire, he used a words that he is very tired and my health reasons I can no longer continue with this level of stress and therefore I have asked the (UN) secretary-general to relieve me of my duties.

But where is the reality,  did he failed to  unite Libyans and restrain foreign interference, or he wasn’t able to persuade major powers to use their leverage to end the civil war between Khalifa Haftar, the leader of so-called Libyan National Army forces in the country’s east, and the UN-recognized government of Fayez al-Sarraj, based in the capital, Tripoli.

Salamé  was afraid because he thought that the powerful nations had not stuck to commitments made at a peace conference in Berlin in January, to use their influence to end interventions by external powers. His decision to quit is likely to be followed by a further rise in political violence, and the continuation of an oil depot blockade that has led Libya’s oil production to grind to a halt.Which leads to a failure in the next stage, after the United Nations arms embargo, recently endorsed again by the UN security council, has been flagrantly violated, with no attempt to hold the major culprits, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, in any way accountable.

On the other hand, the UN reports repeatedly identified the sources of breaches of the arms embargo but then held back from naming the relevant country.

The conflict start with Salamé, when he in post for two years, he was  frustrated by the willingness of European powers including France to covertly back Haftar along with Russia.

His goal had been to end the violence and troubles that have wracked oil-rich Libya since 2011, when an international military coalition helped rebels overthrow longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi.

He joined the council endorsed a 55-point road map to end the war in Libya that 12 key leaders agreed to at a conference in Berlin on Jan. 19 and Salama said the U.N. should remain committed to supporting a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned peace process “and trying to stop outside interference.”

“It’s a pity,” said Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Dmitry Polyansky. “He’s a well-placed person with great experiences but we need to learn the details.”

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun, the current Security Council president, said: “We do appreciate the efforts he has made in promoting a peace process, a political process, and in bringing an end to the conflict there. But we also know there are many difficulties he has to explain for us.”

At the end, Salame  did not fail in his mission, but the escalating crisis forced him to choose to resign, and just days after he announced the near breakdown of a shaky truce between the country’s two rival governments.

One administration controls most of Libya’s east and south, while a U.N.-backed but weak administration holds a shrinking area of the west, including the capital Tripoli. A patchwork of armed groups and foreign countries support either side, the situation in Libya is very difficult and cannot resolve the negotiations.

The Tripoli administration is backed by Turkey, and to a lesser degree, Qatar and Italy. Hifter on the other side receives backing from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, , the situation here is not in a state of peace, but rather foreign forces and states that want to control the region.

Salame, cannot achieve any tangible progress as long as foreign states remain so brazenly disingenuous vis-à-vis the UN as an institution, last week in Geneva he had exposed a rift within the delegations representing the Tripoli government and the eastern-based government, which is allied with ex-general Khalifa Hifter, also he revealed that delegates to the political negotiations “from both sides” had walked away from the table.

According to that, Salame found this mission became difficult to achieve success for the coming period, also it is difficult to achieve success in Libya unless if the foreign forces moved away from Libya, and removing their hand from Libyan state.

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Miral Sabry Al Ashry

Miral Sabry Al Ashry is an Associate Professor at Future University (FUE), Political Mass Media Department.

One thought on “Why Did UN Envoy Ghassan Salame Quit? – OpEd

  • March 5, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Amazing how mad and idiot some of the Libyans’ hallucinated radicals and fanatics are being led to their demise after costing Libya and the poor Libyans heavily in terms of economics, time lost, loss of decent lives, infrastructures, quality and standards of living. On top of that arrogantly dictating their own new brand of madness without respect and listening to the poor Libyans who are the main people who have sacrificed the most to liberate their country and people from Tyranny and Dictatorship to wittingly, or arrogantly locked themselves falling in love again with Tyranny and Dictatorship victimizing 7 million poorly developed and trained traditional, simple minded and naive peaceful people.

    The hallucinated Admiral and Field Marshal Agilla, the scabby Camels of Arabia has joined the outdated Tyrant Dictators of the miserable World. After they have bankrupt, as a result they have changed their marketing strategy from challenging terrorism, or tourism to confronting Turkey to put both the poor Libyans and the poor Syrians into direct confrontation with NATO (Free ride for both Russia & China & the rest of the parasites’ for marketing their newly copied junk and the poor Libyans pay the bills and on top of that increase the heavy burdens, loss of decent lives and hardship on the Libyans people who have no benefits at all in these wicked projects, factional fighting for power, but more hardships and burdens for the poor misled Libyans.

    The only beneficiaries are the ‘old guards of the black market auctioneers, namely ‘Admiral Hafftar, Field Marshal Agilla and the newly waiting online to become ‘Scabby Camels of the Sahara Desert without pants’.

    More importantly if these mad and arrogant power hungry factional fighting between the clans of the various tribal gangs allowed to simar unchecked and stopped, it may lead into 3rd World War that may engulf the entire surrounding areas of Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia, while Libya will become the center of it all for not arresting and sanctioning sooner better than later, the culprits, criminals, spoilers, destabilizers and bullies.


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