North Africa Post: Egypt Wants to Replace Stephanie Williams with an African Figure to Lead UNSMIL – Al Marsad

An article published by the Moroccan newspaper, The North Africa Post, citing a report by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, said Egypt was mobilizing African support to replaced Stephanie Williams, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Libya.

The article quoted an informed Egyptian source to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed saying that Egypt was marshalling support in Africa in an effort to replace the American Stephanie Williams, who is acting as Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Libya. It said Egypt favoured an African figure instead on the grounds that Williams continues to antagonize Cairo’s vision on how to end the Libya crisis.

The source told the North Africa Post, that Cairo had reached out to several African countries who had international weight, to lobby the international community to accept an African-nominated candidate to heading the UN mission in Libya

According to the report, relations between Williams and Egypt have been rocky over several conflicting views. Egypt’s frustration took its toll this month at the recent UN-facilitated talks between members of the Libyan Parliament (HoR) and the advisory High Council of State in Cairo. The talks were aimed at moving forward with a constitutional and legislative framework for the country’s long-waited elections. Williams, however, cut short the consultations, a move that upset Egyptian authorities.

“Williams decided to end the meetings and resume a new round of talks after Eid Al-Fitr, following differences between the UN official and the Egyptians, who pressed to impose their visions for the Libyan crisis,” said the source

The article said Egypt had showed goodwill to the Libyan parties conducting a free dialogue in the country, but that the UN mission coordinating the talks “was surprised by Cairo’s move to organize a meeting between representatives of the HoR and officials from the Egyptian intelligence service,” said a western diplomat.

After the meeting, “they presented a completely different perception of the dialogue’s line, which is consensus on a constitutional rule.” The western diplomat added that Egypt backs the Libyan Parliament’s choice of former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha as the Prime Minister to organize the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The Libya Parliament sacked Abdul Hamid Dbaiba and his government, on the grounds that his mandate ended on 24 December 2021, after his failure to hold both elections.

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2022)