UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] sent a letter [text, PDF] to the UN Security Council (UNSC) [official website] , which was circulated on Friday, seeking the formation of a mission to provide assistance to the new post-conflict authorities in Libya. Ban proposed the establishment of a three-month United Nations Support Mission in Libya, which would focus on "further defining the needs and wishes of Libya for United Nations support, while delivering urgent advice and assistance." Specifically, the mission would include assistance and support to national efforts regarding the restoration of public security, promotion of national reconciliation and political dialogue, restoration of public services, protection of human rights, economic recovery and coordination of support from other actors. Ban emphasized the importance of reconciliation and recovery in Libya as well as the importance of UN support stating:
In the past few weeks, we have witnessed dramatic and historic events in Libya. There can no longer be any doubt regarding the yearning of so many Libyans for fundamental change, human dignity and freedom. [The new Libyan authorities] have clearly requested the assistance of the United Nations and the international community in this process. The time has come for Libyans to begin walking the path of reconciliation and recovery. It is important that the international community be ready to support the Libyan people.The UNSC announced [press release] on Friday that it has begun discussion regarding Ban's proposal. Ban's Special Adviser for Post-Conflict Planning in Libya, Ian Martin, visited the country for five days last week and reported to the UNSC that the country would benefit from Ban's proposal. Martin indicated in a subsequent press conference that the UNSC was supportive of the proposed mission [AP report] and would circulate a draft resolution on Monday.
The Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder] has been ongoing since February. On Thursday, Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile], announced that he is seeking assistance [JURIST report] from INTERPOL [official website] in order to locate and arrest former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The ICC previously issued arrest warrants [JURIST report] for Gaddafi, his son and his brother-in law. Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam was allegedly captured [JURIST report] last month, though he reported to foreign media that he will continue fighting. Last month, Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdad Ali Al-Mahmoudi requested that the UN create a "high-level commission" to investigate alleged human rights abuses [JURIST report] by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official website]. In June, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] decided to extend a mandate to an investigative panel instructing it to continue its investigation of human rights abuses in Libya, after it published a 92-page report [JURIST reports]. The report claims Libyan authorities have committed crimes against humanity such as acts constituting murder, imprisonment and other severe deprivations of physical liberties, torture, forced disappearances and rape "as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population with knowledge of the attack."