The United Nations’ envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, who is also the Head of the UNSMIL peacekeeping force, has announced on Twitter that he is stepping down from his position for health reasons.
Salame said on Monday that he “tried to unite Libyans and restrain foreign interference,” but that for health reasons, he can no longer continue with this level of stress, and therefore he asked the UN Secretary General to relieve him of his duties.
Salame, formerly Lebanese Minister of Culture, was appointed UN envoy to Libya in June 2017 and has struggled to bring the two sides together for talks to end Libya’s conflict, especially after the latest wave of escalations in April 2019.
This resignation comes after many Libyan politicians and social media activists have called on Salame to leave, saying he is biased to one party of the conflict over the other.
Libya has been torn by civil war, with the Western-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli facing off against the House of Representatives and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar based out of Tobruk.