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UN Special Envoy for Libya Announces Resignation, Citing Health
UN Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame holds a press briefing in Geneva on February 18 during talks between sides seeking to control the North African nation. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

UN Special Envoy for Libya Announces Resignation, Citing Health

Ghassan Salame, the special envoy on Libyan matters for the United Nations, is stepping down at a time when a fragile cease-fire in the war-ravaged, oil-rich North African country appears to be crumbling. “My health no longer allows this rate of stress,” Salame, 69, tweeted on Monday. His announcement came as the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), based in the capital Tripoli, faces restive insurgents belonging to the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA). The Benghazi-based LNA, led by renegade general Khalifa Haftar, has been waging an offensive since last April that has seen it win control of cities and numerous oil fields – blocking one of the GNA’s main sources of income – and digging in around the capital. A 55-point cease-fire hammered out last month with intervention by European countries and Russia has held, but barely, with sporadic fighting breaking out as representatives of “both sides,” according to Salame, regularly walking out of continued talks. Libya has been in turmoil since the overthrow of dictator Muamar Gaddafi in 2011, with top figures from varying regions seeing themselves as his successor.

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