UN agrees to deploy ceasefire monitors as Libya heads towards December polls 

WION Web Team
United Nations  Published: Apr 17, 2021, 09:45 AM(IST)

A file photo of logo of United Nations. Photograph:( AFP )

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The council agreed unanimously to follow through on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' recent proposal for up to 60 monitors to join an existing political mission in Libya

International monitors will watch over a nearly six-month-old ceasefire agreement in Libya, the UN Security Council decided in a vote announced on Friday, as the country heads towards December elections after a decade of fighting and upheaval. 

The council agreed unanimously to follow through on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' recent proposal for up to 60 monitors to join an existing political mission in Libya. 

The monitors would arrive in an ‘incremental deployment ... Once conditions allow’, according to the council's British-drafted resolution. The measure also urges all foreign forces and mercenaries to get out of the country, as was supposed to happen months ago. 

"We now expect all UN Members to act on that, helping Libya to regain its sovereignty and work towards lasting peace and stability," Britain's minister for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly, said in a statement from London. 

He heralded the resolution as sending 'a clear signal of support' for Libya's transitional government, which took power last month and is expected to lead the country to the elections, planned for December 24. 

Libya's UN Mission didn't immediately comment on the resolution. The country didn't get to vote on them, as it isn't a member of the 15-nation council. Voting was conducted by email, due to the coronavirus pandemic; the results were announced at a brief virtual meeting. 

Libya has been wracked by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and split the oil-rich North African country between a UN-supported government in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the country's east. 

Each side was backed by armed groups and foreign governments. The UN Estimated in December there were at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, including Syrians, Russians, Sudanese and Chadians. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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