World, Middle East

Cease-fire done, Libyan political peace talks start: UN

UN envoy says after cease-fire signed, Libya's warring sides start political talks virtually first, then in Tripoli Nov. 9

Peter Kenny  | 26.10.2020 - Update : 27.10.2020
Cease-fire done, Libyan political peace talks start: UN


A new dimension to the peace process for Libya's warring parties is being convened by the UN envoy to the North African country, the United Nations said in Geneva on Monday.

A UN statement said Stephanie Turco Williams, who heads the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), announced that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum would take part in its first virtual meeting on Monday.

"The resumption of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LDPF) comes at a time of an overwhelming sense of hope emerged in Libya after the signing of a permanent, countrywide ceasefire agreement between Libyan parties, on 23 October in Geneva," Williams was quoted as saying.

She said: "The LPDF is a fully inclusive intra-Libyan political dialogue established by the Berlin Conference Outcomes, which were endorsed by Security Council Resolutions 2510 (2020) and 2542 (2020)."

Their virtual meeting will be followed by a direct, in-person meeting starting on Nov. 9 in the Tunisian capital.

"The overall objective of the LPDF will be to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to holding national elections in the shortest possible timeframe to restore Libya's sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions," said the UN envoy.

Participants invited to the forum are drawn from different constituencies, based on the principles of inclusivity and fair geographic, ethnic, political, tribal, and social representation.

Williams announced Friday the signing of a "permanent" and immediate cease-fire agreement between military delegations from Libya's warring parties, calling it “an important turning point towards peace and stability in Libya."

The commission's work, the security track, is one of the three intra-Libyan segments that UNSMIL has laid out to bring peace.

The political group was convened by the UN to include representatives of Libya's House of Representatives, its High Council of State, and "vibrant Libyan political actors" who are not members of the two institutions.

Williams expressed gratitude to support received by Libya's neighbors, the African Union, the European Union, and the League of Arab States and the international community members in supporting the peace process.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by forces loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The UN recognizes Fayez al-Sarraj's government as the country's legitimate authority, as Tripoli has battled Haftar's militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

Turkey also supports the al-Sarraj government.

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