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UN Security Council votes on monitors of Libya ceasefire

The UN Security Council is voting on a draft resolution that urges all foreign forces and mercenaries to leave Libya and authorizes a small UN team to monitor last October’s ceasefire agreement that ordered their departure.

The British-drafted resolution would approve Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposals on the composition and operational aspects of the ceasefire monitoring laid out in a letter to the council.

In the April 7 letter, the UN chief proposed “an initial maximum number of 60 monitors” for “a phased deployment” of the ceasefire monitoring component which would be part of the UN political mission in Libya known as UNSMIL.

The monitors would be deployed to the strategic city of Sirte, the gateway to the country’s major oil fields and export terminals, “once all requirements for a permanent United Nations presence have been met, including security, logistical, medical and operational aspects,” the letter said.

In the meantime, it said, “a forward presence” would be established in the capital Tripoli “as soon as conditions permit.”

Guterres said “the proposed number of UNSMIL ceasefire monitors takes into account the Libyan request, as well as measures to allow regular rotation of personnel in and out of Libya, while ensuring flexibility in the geographic coverage in the monitoring area.”

The results of the email voting on the proposed resolution — because of COVID-19 — are expected to be announced on Friday.

The proposed resolution “strongly urges all member states to respect and support the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement, including through the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya without delay.” It would also demand full compliance with an arms embargo on Libya.

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