Independent Arabia: Ghassan Salamé is drowning in the Libyan crisis

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

BENGHAZI – The mission of the United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salamé, has been a failure as the UN diplomat managed to only unify Libyans against him, the Independent Arabia reports.

In June 2017, the UN Security Council appointed university professor and former Lebanese minister of culture Salamé as UN envoy to Libya, replacing Martin Kobler, who led the UN mission since November 2015.

“Almost two years after Salamé was appointed to oversee the negotiations to form a national unity government, some believe that the only thing he was successful at was bringing together the conflicting parties to criticize him and his mission,” wrote Libyan journalist Zayed Hadia in an opinion piece for Independent Arabia.

Ahmed Amer, editor-in-chief of Al Ahram Newspaper, believes that the main the reason behind Salamé’s failure is his “misdiagnosis” of the Libyan crisis.

“I believe that Salamé failed because he continued to proceed with the approach of his predecessors’ misdiagnosis of the situation of Libya until things reached what it reached,” Amer said.

Libyan journalist Mu’taz al-Fitouri said that Salamé’s mistake was that he believed he could tame the militias in the country by allowing them to join state institutions, thus giving their criminal acts a cover of legitimacy.

Al-Fitouri added that criminal and terrorist militias cannot be part of the political solution. “It can only be deterred by force, which the army has done with broad popular support for its military operation in Tripoli”.

The military operation of the Libya National Army (LNA) in Tripoli has exposed the powerlessness of the UN Mission and its weak role in the country, according to Independent Arabia. Following the operation, Salamé blamed international divisions for exacerbating the conflict, describing the international community’s support for Libya as “superficial and circumstantial”.

Yet as the fighting escalates in Tripoli, it was Salamé who the rival parties blamed for the deteriorating situation.

The Tripoli-based premier, Fayez Al-Sarraj, and chairman of the High Council of State, Khaled Al-Mishri, accused Salamé of failing to stop LNA’s territorial expansion to Tripoli as they described Salamé’s response to the operation as “suspicious and unexpected”.

For its part, LNA criticized Salamé’s condemnation for its operation in Tripoli which the army considered to be an attempt to protect criminal and terrorist militias.

Following the failure of the Security Council to adopt a unified resolution condemning LNA’s operation in the capital, observers believe that the role of Salamé and the UN mission in Libya is in the wind. It seems that the military solution will have the final say in Libya.


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