UN delays talks between Libya's rival sides again

UN delays talks between Libya’s rival sides again

HomeAfricaMore Mon Jan 5, 2015 10:35PM

The United Nations has once again put off peace talks between warring factions in Libya without setting a new date for the negotiations.

“The dialogue had been scheduled to take place,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Monday, referring to the talks planned to be held on January 5. “It did not.”

A meeting had initially been scheduled for December 9, 2014 but was postponed due to the escalation of fighting between the struggling internationally-recognized government and a variety of armed militants.

Dujarric cited problems in locating a “venue that complies with all the security requirements” as one factor causing the delay.

The development came as UN envoy Bernardino Leon was consulting with all sides to reach an agreement on the timing and location for the second round of talks on the deteriorating unrest in the oil-rich North African state.

Leon had chaired the first round of peace talks between contending lawmakers in the resort town of Ghadames back in September.

However, his efforts to arrange a new round and to mediate parallel negotiations between the warring parties failed to produce any results.

In October 2014, the UN Security Council threatened to impose sanctions on any party that undermines the process.

Libya’s internationally-recognized parliament voted last week not to participate in any negotiations in which members of the rival assembly in Tripoli were also invited.

According to the United Nations, hundreds of civilians in Libya have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have fled their homes since fighting in the country intensified in May.

Arab League ambassadors were due to meet in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Monday to discuss the deepening conflict in Libya, whose neighboring countries have called for international intervention, fearing a spillover of the violence.

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