U.N. Libya mediator quits weeks before planned election


THE United Nations Libya mediator Jan Kubis is stepping down, diplomats said on Tuesday, less than a year after he took up the role and a month before planned elections in the country.

Kubis is a former Slovakian foreign minister who has also served as the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon and as the U.N. special envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The U.N. Security Council approved his appointment as the Libya special envoy in January, succeeding Ghassan Salame, who quit the role in March last year due to stress.

Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In October last year, the two major sides in the country’s war – the internationally recognized Government of National Accord and Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army – agreed to a ceasefire.

Parliamentary and presidential elections on December 24 were demanded by a U.N. political forum last year as part of a roadmap to end Libya’s civil war. However, disputes over the planned poll threaten to derail the U.N.-backed peace process.

A first-round presidential vote is set for December 24 and the parliamentary election has been delayed to January or February. However, rules for the elections have not yet been agreed.

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