U.N. wants 'light footprint' in Libya

March 8, 2012 at 9:32 AM

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 (UPI) -- The U.N. special envoy to Libya called for a support mission for Tripoli that would help the country with the transition to democracy.

U.N. Special Representative Ian Martin told members of the Security Council that a "light footprint" was needed for the U.N. Support Mission in Libya.

"We recommended that this support be provided in the form of a structurally integrated mission to maximize the impact of the entire United Nations system," he said in a statement.

UNSMIL, he said, would focus on democratic transition, elections and national security during the next 12 months.

NATO forces intervened in Libya last year to protect civilians from attacks by Gadhafi's forces. His government had collapsed by mid-2011 and interim administration was installed. Local elections were conducted in Misurata for the first time in 40 years last month.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib told the world body that "elements" of the former regime of Moammar Gadhafi would be brought to justice.

Gadhafi was wanted for war crimes before his death in October.

This week, leaders in Tripoli issued a warning about the influence of pro-Gadhafi elements during debates over semi-autonomous regions in a post-revolution Libya.

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