Libya: the appointment of an Algerian as UN envoy blocked by the United Arab Emirates

Former Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum, July 13, 2020. AFP Photo/FETHI BELAID

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres proposed to the Security Council that former Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum become the organization's new envoy to Libya, but the United Arab Emirates blocked his appointment. according to diplomats.


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During a tense meeting on Monday of the Security Council devoted to the Libyan situation, certain countries such as Ghana, Ireland or France once again demanded that the post, vacant since November, be filled “

 as soon as possible


Since the autumn, the renewal of the UN political mission (Manul) has only been possible for short periods of a few months, in particular because of the Council's inability to agree on a new emissary.

Manul's mandate expires on July 31.

Last week, the head of the UN, after several vain attempts, proposed to the 15 members of the Council the name of Mr. Boukadoum.


Only the United Arab Emirates refused

 ,” a diplomat who requested anonymity told AFP.

In the Security Council, the Emirates, a non-permanent member, represents the Arab world.

According to several other diplomats, the Emirates explained that "

 Arab countries and Libyan parties had expressed their opposition

 " to the appointment of the former Algerian official.

These sources did not identify the countries and parties in question.

“Western Camp Dictate”

There is a “ 

regional concern

 ” with regard to the appointment of Sabri Boukadoum, indicated one of these diplomats, stressing that the choice of a national of a country bordering Libya poses a problem.

His work would be " 


", added this source, explaining the Emirati position.

Without directly mentioning the candidacy of the former Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskyi, criticized the West which, according to him, would like to keep the upper hand on the Libyan file.

He called on Antonio Guterres "

 to take a thoughtful, balanced approach

 " in his search for a new envoy.

We must ensure a consensus on a candidacy of a special representative taking into account the opinion of the Libyan parties and regional actors

 ", he stressed, calling for rejection of a " 

diktat of the Western camp which considers Libya like his backyard


At the end of the session, the United Kingdom and the United States strongly rejected the Russian assertions against the West.

Libya, the scene of multiple interferences and international rivalries, has long been a headache for the UN chief in his choice of a new envoy.

The next incumbent will be the ninth in eleven years, a Libyan diplomatic source recently noted.

After more than a decade of chaos following the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya, plagued by divisions between competing institutions in East and West, has had two rival governments since early March, as between 2014 and 2021 , then in the midst of a civil war.

No solution to this political crisis is in sight so far.



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  • UN

  • Libya

  • Algeria