TUNIS, SEPTEMBER 8 – UNSMIL categorically denies circulated news reports claiming that the UN plans to deploy a UN peacekeeping force to Libya.
“The Special Representative has repeatedly said that UNSMIL is progressively returning to Libya, increasing its staff presence including security personnel who are tasked with only guarding the UN staff inside the UN compound in Tripoli”, the UN mission in Libya stated in a press release.
“UNSMIL is a political mission and its mandate, as set by the UN Security Council, does not allow the presence of a peacekeeping force (or as mentioned Blue Helmets) to operate in Libya”, the mission added, reiterating its its full commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity and unity of Libya.
Media reports quoted the UN Special envoy for Libya Ghassan Salamé saying that a 200 Blue helmets contingent was about to be deployed on the ground in Libya to guarantee UNSMIL security. “The peacekeepers will be a little less than 250 and I think that they can be deployed in the next few weeks, so that at the beginning of October the mission could start to perform many of the activities of its mandate”, Salamé was quoted on the Italian daily La Stampa. (@OnuItalia)