UN appoints Stephanie Williams as Special Adviser on Libya

Stephanie Williams

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed former acting head of the UN Support Mission in Libya Stephanie Williams as special adviser to the UN on Libya.

The appointment of Williams, a former US diplomat, to the advisiry role comes after Russia opposed her filling the more permanent role of leading the UNSMIL, a diplomatic source said on condition of anonymity.

Ghassan Salamé, who stepped down from heading the UNSMIL in March 2020, congratulated Williams on the new appointment on Monday night.

Williams’ return to the fold in the UN’s Libya offices comes as mounting friction over the legitimacy of the elections, organised under a UNSMIL-designed framework, threatens to derail the scheduled opening of the ballot due in just over two weeks.

Williams’ appointment comes at a time when the electoral process in Libya faces procedural and technical obstacles that may prevent it from being held on schedule.

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