UN proposes Libyan ceasefire and talks

UN mission in Libya proposes talks as group of states including EU calls for immediate ceasefire and political solution.

Libya rival militias have agreed to hold their first talks since the latest surge of violence began in May [AFP]

The UN, EU and a group of 13 nations have called for “an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire” in Libya, after the UN mission there proposed talks between backers of rival Libyan parliaments beginning next week.

In a joint statement, the group on Monday said that rivals must “accept an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire,”  and “engage constructively in a peaceful political dialogue. There is no military solution to this conflict.”

The group of nations includes Egypt and the UAE, which were accused in August of launching and supporting air raids against militias controlling the Libyan capital Tripoli.

The call comes after the UN support mission in Libya, UNSMIL, proposed that backers of rival governments in Libya hold talks in Algeria – the first such negotiations since a surge of violence that began in May.

The UN mission said a joint Libya-UN committee would oversee any ceasefire, and urged rivals to agree a timeline to withdraw fighters from cities and key installations including airports.

The talks were proposed to start on September 29, the UN mission said.

Libya’s political scene is split between the Islamist-backed General National Congress in Tripoli, and its rival House of Representatives, which despite being internationally-backed is based on a converted car ferry in the port city of Tobruk.

The House of Representatives moved to Tobruk after fighters from ‘Libya Dawn’ took control of the capital and revived the GNC, which the House of Representatives was meant to replace after elections earlier this year.

The UN mission also called on militias in control of Tripoli to recognise the Tobruk parliament, saying the talks would be based on the “legitimacy of the elected institutions” and that they would also set the venue and date for a “handover ceremony” from the previous parliament to the one elected earlier this year.

Source: News Agencies