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UN Push Continues Toward Ceasefire Deal in Libya

UN Push Continues Toward Ceasefire Deal in Libya
folder_openAfrica... access_time5 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

The UN special representative for Libya said Thursday the country’s warring sides are working to turn a provisional ceasefire into a formal agreement as they emerged from four days of talks, a prospect that appears to face steep obstacles.

Ghassan Salame, head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, said rival military leaders are negotiating the remaining sticking points in a ceasefire deal.

Those include the return of internally displaced people, the disarmament of armed groups and ways to monitor a truce, which each side has accused the other of violating.

He added that the ceasefire would be monitored by the military representatives in Geneva with support from the UN Mission in Libya.

Another unresolved issue, Salame said, is how to deal with heavy weaponry, which powerful foreign backers continue sending to Libya, despite their pledges not to at a high-profile summit last month in Berlin.

"There are still two or three points of divergence," Salame told reporters in Geneva.

He said delegates will reconvene Friday to discuss the latest draft. That agreement must then be sent back to their respective leaders for approval.

The latest round of fighting erupted last April when eastern-based forces under the command of Khalifa Haftar laid siege to Tripoli in a bid to wrest power from the UN-backed government led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.

Sarraj and Haftar both sent delegations of military officials to represent them at the Geneva talks.

Yet even as the delegates conferred, the suburbs of Libya’s capital came under heavy fire, health authorities said, which killed at least four civilians in the last 24 hours.

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