UN to host new round of Libyan peace talks next week
The United Nations says it will host a fresh round of peace talks among different Libyan factions in Geneva next week.
On Friday, the UN said the next round of talks would be held on September 3 and 4, aimed at completing talks over the finalization of the Libyan Political Agreement.
The announcement was made after two days of talks in the Moroccan city of Skhirat.
The statement added that those taking part in the recently concluded talks in Morocco were “aware of their responsibilities… to work for a peaceful settlement to the political and military conflict ravaging Libya and threatening its unity, the participants agreed that it is high time to conclude the talks.”
It added the agreement was a matter of “extreme urgency.”
Meanwhile, the UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon has told all sides to the Libyan conflict that they must reach an agreement in the next two weeks.
He added that the situation in Libya was worsening as a result of an ongoing migrant crisis, which has claimed the lives of thousands of people trying to gain entry to Europe, since last year.
Earlier in the day, the Libyan Red Crescent said at least 105 people died after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants sank off the Libyan coast.
The UN also warned that as many as 200 people on two boats were feared dead.
Libya has been witnessing unrest since 2011 when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled.
The North African nation currently has two rival administrations battling for control of the country, one based in Tripoli, and the other, the country’s internationally-recognized government, having been forced to flee to the northeastern city of Tobruk last August.
Several rounds of UN-backed talks have failed to bring about an agreement on the formation of a unity government.
According to the UN, about 435,000 people have become internally displaced as a result of the unrest in the country.
Libya is also threatened by a humanitarian crisis with figures suggesting about 1.2 million others do not have access to food.