On Saturday, the United Nations announced that the Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Libya (SASG), Stephanie Williams will leave her post in Libya at the end of July 2022.
Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General confirmed Williams’ departure. However, he said the UN is yet to decide on a replacement.
“We’re trying, as soon as we can, to have at least an interim person named to do the sort of task that Stephanie Williams was doing, but I don’t have anyone to name for you then,” Haq said, addressing reporters.
“As you know, we do have a functioning UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), and so the mission’s Officer-in-Charge and Coordinator Raisedon Zenenga will step in, until a new envoy and head of mission is announced.,” he concluded.
On Thursday, the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) was extended for three months, at Russia’s insistence.
Russia’s Deputy Ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky reiterated Moscow’s position that UNSMIL must appoint a new special representative, before it has a longer mandate.
Former UNSMIL Head, Jan Kubis resigned on 23 November, after 10 months on the job. A number of candidates proposed by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres have been rejected either by council members, Libya, or neighbouring countries.
Guterres then appointed veteran American diplomat, Stephanie Williams, a former UN deputy special representative in Libya, as his special adviser.
UNSMIL’s annual mandate was renewed in September for four months, before being extended in January for another three months.
Libya has been mired in conflict for long stretches since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011. Plagued by divisions between competing institutions in the east and west, Libya remains split between rival forces, with two opposing executives in place since February.