By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 16 November 2015:
The new UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler starts work tomorrow trying to pick up the pieces . . .[restrict]of the widely-criticised and rejected Peace Accord put together by his predecessor Bernardino Leon.
The Accord received an extra blow when leaked emails revealed that Leon was leaving for a lucrative job in the UAE, which has backed the government against Libya Dawn. The messages also appeared to show that Leon was deferring to the UAE Libyan policy and seeking to minimise the influence of Libya Dawn and the General National Congress. Ironically Leon, along with the Americans and British, had long been accused of favouring the Muslim Brotherhood, ignoring their extensive defeat in the 2014 general election.
Optimist to the last, Leon had insisted that the Accord and a Government of National Accord were almost a done deal. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said that Leon’s term was being extended because continuity was essential.
Martin Kobler therefore faces a tough task, not the least of which will be trying to rebuild trust in the UN and its peace process. The background of this 62 year-old German career diplomat suggests he is well qualified. He has served with the UN in Afghanistan for a year then in 2011 headed the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI). He then moved, in 2013, to run the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a 22,000-strong UN peacekeeping multinational force.
A second new appointment to UNSMIL is the Italian Lieutenant-General Paolo Serra who has joined as Kobler’s senior adviser on security in relation the the dialogue process. Announcing his appointment today UNSMIL said that Serra had broad experience of multination peace operations. From 2012 to 2014 he was head of mission and force commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). [/restrict]