By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 30 December 2015:
UNSMIL head Martin Kobler is arriving in Tripoli on New Year’s day and demanding a . . .[restrict]meeting with GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain.
A leaked copy of a letter from SRSG/UNSMIL to Abu Sahmain, which has been seen by Libya Herald, has informed Abu Sahmain that Martin Kobler will be visiting Libya together with Major General Paolo Serra, UNSMIL’s security adviser.
Kobler would arrive in Tripoli after holding a meeting tomorrow in Beida with the internationally recognised authorities based in the east.
The planned visit by Kobler and Serra will be the first real test of the international community’s ability and determination to enforce the Libyan Political Agreement and Government of National Accord signed at the Moroccan city of Skhirat on 17 December and backed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2259 on 23 December.
It will also be a test of the resolve and an indication of how far Nuri Abu Sahmain and his minority GNC dissenting members are prepared to push the international community in their opposition to the Skhirat agreement and the UNSC resolution.
It will be recalled that the Tripoli authorities had refused landing permission at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport to Martin Kobler after Kobler’s visit to eastern Libya days before the signing of the Skhirat agreement.
Sources have informed this publication that the UN were very unhappy with the landing refusal and this may be why article 18 of resolution 2259 guarantees the right of access into Libya for UN personnel.
Article 18 reads:
‘‘18. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the activities of UNSMIL, including allowing it free interaction with all interlocutors and to take necessary steps to ensure the security of as well as the unhindered movement and timely access for the UN and associated personnel’’
It will also be a test of Martin Kobler as a mediator as the Skhirat dissenters will be testing his resolve to see how far he can be pushed and how flexible or malleable he is.
Kobler, for his part, will not want to lose face and credibility and has to walk a fine line of being a good flexible mediator – as mediators have to be – yet show determination and resolve and not allow the dissenters to play for time.
The legacy of his predecessor Bernardino Leon and what was deemed as a poor performance will also be looming over Martin Kobler as his performance will be closely watched and analyzed by his allies and by his foes. [/restrict]