Ignoring two proposals from Africa to fill the United Nations special envoy post for Libya, the United States demanded that the secretary-general, António Guterres, accept its own choice, several diplomats have told PassBlue. The maneuver could leave Africa with only a minimal voice in the mediation of a war in its own continent, spurred almost a decade ago by a Western military intervention that the African Union staunchly opposed.
Several African diplomats and political observers view the imposition of the US as another instance of colonial interference in their continent, now targeting an oil-rich nation whose turmoil is destabilizing neighboring countries and subjecting migrants passing through Libya to unlawful killings, disappearances, sexual violence and slavery.
The US choice for the special envoy for Libya — the Bulgarian diplomat Nickolay Mladenov, currently the UN coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process — is expected to be announced any moment. The US mission to the UN said on Nov. 16, “We have nothing to announce on this right now.” [Update, Dec. 14: Mladenov’s name has been formally submitted to the Security Council, as has Tor Wennesland, a Norwegian diplomat, to succeed him as the UN envoy role in the Mideast; Dec. 16: Raisedon Zenenga of Zimbabwe named mission coordinator of the UN mission in Libya, a separate post from special envoy.]
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.