Update: The UN Mission in Libya denied reports of sending peacekeepers to Tripoli, and confirmed it respects the country’s sovereignty
UN is preparing to deploy 250 peacekeepers to Libya in an aim to guard its base in the capital Tripoli as part of a plan to return its support mission's operations to the country, the Head of the UNSMIL, Ghassan Salame said on Friday.
Salame told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that about 250 peacekeepers can be deployed in the coming weeks in Tripoli.
The mission has been based in Tunis since 2014 but has gradually increased its presence on the ground in Libya and has been planning for months for a fuller return.
The military unit would probably consist of around 150 people, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told a news briefing in Geneva, according to Reuters.
"The step will mean that around the beginning of October we can carry out a significant part of our work in Libya,” said Salame.
According to Salame's statement to La Stampa, one of the aims of the deployment is to ensure that the agreed on elections will be carried out safely in the country.