Rival factions in Libya agree to hold elections: UN envoy

2020-11-14 17:40:19
Rival factions in Libya agree to hold elections: UN envoy

The United Nations envoy for Libya said on Wednesday that rival factions in the North African nation have reached agreement on holding elections within 18 months, although the peacemaking process still faces great obstacles.

Speaking at a news conference in Tunis, UN’s Libya envoy Stephanie Williams hailed the agreement as a "breakthrough".

"There's real momentum and that's what we need to focus on and encourage," said Williams, a US diplomat who is the deputy head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

The meeting has reached preliminary agreement on a roadmap to "free, fair, inclusive and credible parliamentary and presidential elections" that also includes steps to unite institutions, she said.

Libya plunged into chaos in 2011, when a popular uprising backed by a NATO intervention led to the ouster of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Since 2014, two rival seats of power have emerged in Libya, namely an internationally-recognized government, and another group protected militarily by rebels under the command of Haftar, which is based in the country's east.

The rebels are supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan.

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