Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Arab Spring: UN Postpones “Indefinitely” New Round of Dialogue in Libya


TRIPOLI – The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has indefinitely postponed a new round of national dialogue talks that was supposed to have begun on Monday between parties to that country’s worsening conflict.

The official Libyan News Agency (LANA) said the postponement had been confirmed by the spokesman of the Libyan Parliament in Tripoli (Libyan General National Congress) Omar Hamidan, but the UNSMIL has yet to announce it officially.

UN special envoy Bernardino Leon announced the talks last month but since then, violence has steadily escalated in Libya, where tribal based militias, many with an Islamist agenda, have been vying for power since the 2011 ouster of long-time dictator Muammar al-Gadaffi.

Since that time, an estimated 5,000 people have died as a result of the violence and vital facilities such as airports or oil export terminals have been damaged.

This is the third time the UNSMIL sponsored talks have had to be postponed following previous delays on Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, 2014. A first round was held last September without reaching any significant results.

Adding to the complications of a chaotic security system are the presence of two governments and two parliaments seated at Tripoli and Tobruk, respectively.

The crisis escalated further after the Supreme Court of Libya issued on Nov. 6, 2014 a ruling that invalidates the parliament in Tobruk, which was chosen in elections held on July 25, 2014, and accordingly has been recognized by international community.


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