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Monday, 02 August 2021

UN envoy urges end to Libya fighting as peace talks resume

AFP , Monday 13 Apr 2015
Representatives of rival Libyan factions start talks in Algiers, Monday, April 13, 2015. Talks between the factions resumed in Algiers in the presence of the UN special envoy for the country (Photo: AP)

Libya's UN envoy on Monday urged fighters in the conflict-torn North African country to back efforts for a political solution, at the start of new peace talks hosted by Algeria.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said the Algeria talks would be attended by political party leaders and activists.

Participants are to discuss reaching an accord to end the chaos and violence that has engulfed Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The meeting is a follow-up to two days of talks last month in Algiers.

"This is the first time that important representatives of political parties will meet to discuss a draft agreement," Leon said in his opening remarks.

"We think we are close to a political solution for Libya," he said, but warned that continuing violence was undermining peace efforts.

"We still have to send a message to those fighting, they must give us a chance to try to find a political solution," he added.

Twin attacks Sunday in the Libyan capital Tripoli targeted the South Korean and Moroccan embassies, leaving two Libyans dead and wounding a third.

On Friday 10 Libyan soldiers were killed and 40 wounded in fighting with armed groups in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The following day, new clashes erupted between pro-government forces and the powerful Islamist-backed Fajr Libya militia alliance near Tripoli.

"We are here today to send a strong message that no more Libyans should be killed, no more Libyans should lose their lives," Leon said.

The UN envoy has mediated separate rounds of talks between Libyan factions, including several meetings that were held in Morocco last month between rival parliamentarians.

On March 24, UNSMIL unveiled a six-point proposal aimed at ending Libya's violence by setting up a transitional unity government until a new constitution is adopted and elections held.

Leon said at the time that it constituted the "basis" from which the factions in Libya can work.

Libya has an elected parliament and an internationally recognised government based in the far eastern city of Tobruk, and a rival government and legislature backed by Islamists in Tripoli.

Rival armed groups are also fighting to control Libyan cities and its oil wealth.

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