UN Threatens Sanctions Against Libya Election Spoilers

The U.N. Security Council has threatened to impose sanctions against those wanting to scupper Libya's presidential and parliamentary elections that is scheduled for December 24, 2021.

The council also called on all Libyan stakeholders to respect the results of the vote and to work together "in the spirit of unity and compromise" afterward, for a peaceful transfer of power.

In addition, council members issued a united call for countries to respect the arms embargo imposed against Libya and for all foreign fighters and mercenaries to leave the country immediately. Instability, fighting and foreign interference have proliferated in Libya since the ouster and killing of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya will hold elections 70 years to the day, since independence was declared in 1951. The head of the High National Election Commission said that 98 people had registered by the deadline for the presidential elections. The list includes two women hopefuls, as well as a commander of an eastern-based militia that tried to seize the capital, Tripoli, in 2019. Saif Gaddafi - the son of the late Muammar Gaddafi - was also on the list but has been declared ineligible.

On November 23, 2021 it was also announced that the U.N.'s top diplomat to Libya, Jan Kubis, is stepping down. Kubis addressed his abrupt departure after less than a year in the post, in what was likely his final briefing to the council, via a video call from Tripoli.

InFocus

Tripoli's central business district in 2012.

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