UN envoy to Libya to look into leaked emails

UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon says he will seek ‘full clarification’ into allegations that UAE shipped arms to Libya factions

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

U.N. Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Bernardino Leon holds a news conference in Rabat, 28 May 2015

UN envoy to Libya to see immediate “full clarification” over a probable violation of the UN arms embargo. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is said to have actively armed Libyan factions, according to a report published by the New York Times citing leaked email.

The leaked email appears to be from a senior UAE diplomat, who admitted his own country "violated the UN Security Council Resolution on Libya and continues to do so.”

The New York Times report creates a fresh conundrum for the Libyan crises, specially that the leaked email details a new position Leon agreed to fill for 50K $ a month in the Emirates Diplomatic Academy as director general.

"In light of this (New York Times) report, I have decided to request a full clarification of the issue, including from the United Arab Emirate (UAE) authorities, as I take time to reflect on the next steps in my professional career," Leon said in a statement.

Leon -who will soon be replaced by veteran German diplomat Martin Kobler- recently had to defend his decision of agreeing on the job offer, after allegations that his presence in such job can represent a conflict of interest within the Libyan crises.

The UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya in 2011 when Gaddafi's security forces brutally handled peaceful marches.

"Given the inaccurate or false information we have seen in previous months regarding the process in Libya and the UN and my role, I believe it is imperative to be extremely cautious about the most recent reports," he said.

He added: "I consider nothing is more important than full compliance with United Nations resolutions."

Speculations over Leon’s new position in the UAE institute were first published by the Guardian newspaper.

Libya has been plunged in a violent streak of unrest since the deposition of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Deep political divisions and tribal rivalry yielded two separate government. Each boasts its own institutions and military capacities.

Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk, which is supported by the UAE and a General National Congress (GNC) that convenes in Tripoli.

TRTWorld and agencies