Libya’s warring factions to meet for peace talks

Representatives of Libya’s two warring factions will today begin talks to reach a political solution to the Second Libyan Civil

A member of the force assigned to protect Libya’s unity government stands at the entrance to where the government has their offices, in Tripoli

Photo: Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

Representatives of Libya’s two warring factions will today begin talks to reach a political solution to the Second Libyan Civil War.

The internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) are expected to reinforce the ceasefire signed on October 23 and to work toward a framework for establishing and electing members of a new national government in the next 18 months. Some steps have already been taken, including demilitarisation in the contested city of Sirte and an agreement to exchange prisoners and reopen commercial travel. Initial discussions will likely focus on the expulsion of foreign mercenaries from both sides.

While representatives of both factions and of the UN are optimistic, tribal leaders have raised concerns that, of the 75 delegates invited to the talks, 42 are members of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, a group that many see as a potential spoiler. Yet their concerns are unlikely to be addressed as the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the sponsor of the talks, wishes to project stability and a change in delegates may upset the established balance. Tribal leaders are key to Libyan politics so dissent from them will likely scuttle any resolutions.