The General National Congress, GNC, has demanded the investigation with the United Nations envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, after it was announced that he will be appointed as the head of an academy in the United Arab Emirates.
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, received a letter from the GNC that demands investigation on Leon’s ties to the Emirates. The letter questioned the neutrality of Leon’s efforts in mediating for forming the Government of National Accord (GNA).
Leon’s term as the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya ended in September, Martin Kobler was hired as successor. Emirates Diplomatic Academy announced on Wednesday that Leon will be its head after ending his career in the UN.
The letter warns that the development “threatens to destroy the political track during this sensitive time”, according to the Associated Press.
The British newspaper “The Guardian” reported that Leon’s salary nears $1.500 a day. ” The United Nations special representative in Libya spent the summer negotiating a £35,000-a-month job with a Gulf state that supports one side in the civil war he was trying to end, the Guardian can reveal” it reported.
Leon said he informed the UN officials in July of his talks with the UAE, and no one there raised concerns. “I followed the normal procedure,” he told reporters Thursday. “The optics are not nice, I can agree with this,” he said, adding that he should have handled the matter differently. He didn’t elaborate.
Leon said that the timing of the accusations was intended to undermine the political process at a critical moment.
The U.N. praised Mr. Leon’s performance in Libya but declined further comment. “Mr. Leon’s tireless and unending work to reach a government accord in Libya speaks for itself,” said the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Leon has been mediating talks between rival Libyan parties to form a Government of National Accord to end the Libyan crisis. He submitted a suggestion for the government formation, but the political deal wasn’t sealed. On Thursday, Leon briefed the Security Council on the status of negotiations.