‘Unified’ Libyan army on table at Tunis meeting

UN brokered a deal last year to form a Government of National Accord, but body still struggling to assert authority with rival army factions. (File photo: AP)

The UN are set to host a second day of talks in Libya Sunday with the aim of creating a “unified” army in a country wracked by internal divisions and a extremist threat.

The organization brokered a power-sharing deal last year to form a Government of National Accord (GNA), but the body is still struggling to assert its authority.

“All Libya’s problems today are tied up to the security issue,” said Martin Kobler, head of the UN’s support mission in the country.

The goal of the talks would be “a unified Libyan army under the command of the presidential council,” he said Saturday, according to an Arabic translation.

“Libya cannot be united as long as it has several armies,” he said at the end of the first day’s meeting, which also touched on humanitarian issues.

The GNA arrived in the capital three months ago, but a rival political authority based in the east is refusing to cede power until Libya’s elected parliament passes a repeatedly delayed vote of confidence.

The controversial leader General Khalifa Haftar controls forces loyal to this authority.

“I want to meet General Haftar, to see and understand his position. I contact him every week to arrange a meeting, but so far he has refused,” Kobler said.

The presidential council would meet on Monday and Tuesday with “influential security parties” for further talks on a unified army, he said, without specifying who these parties would be.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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