Libyan rivals to hold peace talks on home soil: UN

·1 min read
Fighters loyal to Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (pictured June 2020) stand on a tank in the town of Tarhuna, after the area was taken over by pro-GNA forces from rival forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar
Fighters loyal to Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (pictured June 2020) stand on a tank in the town of Tarhuna, after the area was taken over by pro-GNA forces from rival forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar

The UN's Libya mission said Saturday that a joint military commission with representatives from the two parties to the country's conflict will meet this week on Libyan soil.

The November 2-4 talks will be the first time the teams have met on Libyan territory, UNSMIL said.

"Participants will initiate discussions in the implementation of the ceasefire agreement," the UN said, referring to an October 23 deal signed in Geneva.

Talks will take place in Ghadames, a desert oasis some 465 kilometres (290 miles) southwest of the capital Tripoli, near Libya's borders with Algeria and Tunisia.

Libya has been wracked by conflict for nearly a decade, since the overthrow and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

It has since been dominated by armed groups and divided between two bitterly-opposed administrations: a UN-recognised Government of National Accord based in the capital Tripoli, and another in the east backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

The October 23 deal saw the two warring factions sign a "permanent" ceasefire deal intended to pave the way towards a political solution to the country's grinding conflict.

The military commission is dubbed "5+5", because it is made up of five officers from each camp.

The talks will be attended by the UN's Libya envoy Stephanie Williams.