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‘Possibility’ for new Libya peace talks in Geneva next week: UN

Peacekeeper killed in fresh attack on UN camp in Mali: UN source/AFP

‘Possibility’ for new Libya peace talks in Geneva next week/AFP

GENEVA, Jan 23- A new round of peace talks between Libya’s warring factions will possibly take place in Geneva next week, the United Nations said Friday.

There is no confirmation yet where or when the next round of Libyan peace talks will take place, but “there is a possibility that they come back to Geneva next week,” UN spokeswoman Corinne Momal-Vanian told reporters.

During a first round of UN-mediated discussions in the Swiss city last week, warring factions from the strife-torn country agreed on a roadmap to form a unity government.

Following the agreement, Libya’s army and the Islamist-backed Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia alliance declared a truce.

The UN’s Libya mission welcomed the ceasefire as a “significant contribution” to the country’s peace process and called on all parties to work with UNSMIL to “ensure compliance” with the truce.

UNSMIL envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, warned as the Geneva talks opened last week that they were a last-ditch effort to prevent all-out chaos.

Leon also underscored the threat of Libya becoming a hotbed of Islamist insurgency, echoing concerns by Libyan officials and world leaders.

The North African nation has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Moamar Kadhafi in a 2011 uprising, with rival governments and powerful militias battling for control of key cities and the country’s vast oil riches.

The internationally-recognised government and elected parliament decamped last summer to the country’s far east after Fajr Libya seized Tripoli and set up its own administration.

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The militia alliance also holds Misrata and launched a bloody offensive in December to seize key oil terminals but was repelled by the army.

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