Libya’s rival governments a step closer to peace deal

Representatives from Tobruk and Tripoli find some agreement on security issues and the prospect of a unity government.

Representatives from Libya’s rival governments have moved one step closer to reaching a peace deal during UN-backed talks in Morocco, sources have told Al Jazeera.

The talks in Rabat, which continued for a second day on Friday, have been described as one of the last chances to stop Libya from plunging into full-scale civil war.

Libya’s politicians are split between the UN-recognised government in Tobruk and the General National Congress, a rival legally-installed government in Tripoli.

The political turmoil has fuelled rival militias and allowed fighters claiming association with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group to gain control of the cities of Sirte and Darna.

Following a second day of discussions on Friday, Saleh al Makhzoum, from the Tripoli based GNC, said that progress had been made.

“There are signs of a deal. We have now moved to a new phase and with the UN we are starting to talk about guarantees that once there is a deal we will have a government that has a clear mandate,” he said.

“We will submit a draft to the UN on a comprehensive deal with all the guarantees to form a government as soon as possible”

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Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Rabat, said sources had said the two rival parties had made progress on two main issues – security arrangements and the formation of a national unity government.

“Basically, they agreed on the security arrangements which include the implementation of a ceasefire, disbanding of militias … and setting up the body which would look after security across the country,” he said.

“They have also made major progress about the national unity government.”

Our correspondent added that the parties are expected to meet again on Saturday before returning to Libya to meet with their respective governments to pin down an agreement.

If the measures are agreed on, the representatives are expected to return to Rabat next week for a final signing ceremony.

Meanwhile, ISIL-affiliated fighters attacked the Al-Ghani oil field near the town of Zalla, about 750km southeast of the capital Tripoli on Friday, a spokesperson of the National Oil Corporation told Al Jazeera.

Spokesman Mohammed al-Harari said the fighters killed eight guards before setting the installations on fire.

ISIL-linked fighters have also been battling forces loyal to the Tripoli-based government at the al-Dahra oilfield, southeast of Sirte, government sources told Al Jazeera.

Source: Al Jazeera