By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 4 November 2015:
In what appears to be an abrupt change of mind, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pulled . . .[restrict]the rug from under Bernardino Leon and his plans to press on with the formation of the new Government of National Accord.
This afternoon Ban announced that Leon’s designated successor, veteran German diplomat Martin Kobler, would be taking over the job “in the coming days”.
Only three days ago, Ban was insisting that Leon would be staying because “Continuity will be paramount in any leadership transition”.
Continuity is clearly no longer such an issue for the Secretary-General. Indeed, the unenthusiastic Libyan response to Ban’s news that Leon was staying, may have convinced him that the Spanish diplomat’s continuing shepherding of the still-fractious Peace Process was no longer desirable.
Leon as come under fire in particular for repeatedly proposing changes to the final Peace Accord, which he himself had insisted could not be changed.
Ban, who in the past has been effusive in his praise for Leon, today confined his remarks to saying he was “grateful for his dedicated service and effective leadership of UNSMIL”. [/restrict]