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UN Photo/Mark Garten; 04/03/2015

Libyan peace dialog nearing final stages: UN envoy

The United Nations (UN) envoy to Libya says the North African country’s political dialog process is nearing “final stages,” urging leaders to make “the final push” for an end to the current crisis there.

Bernardino Leon made the remarks via video-conference during a briefing at the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

“I am increasingly confident that the process is finally drawing to its final stages,” Leon told the 15-member council. “Overcoming the political polarization and divisiveness in Libya will be no easy task… the onus is on Libya’s leaders on all sides, and at all levels, to make that final push towards peace.”

Leon also warned of a dire humanitarian situation in the country due to the advances in the region by Daesh terrorists, who have seized the coastal city of Sirte.

He further warned that about 1.2 million people in Libya have no access to food. “The scale of human suffering is staggering for a country with large oil reserves and strong economic potential,” the UN envoy to Libya said.

Leon also said that some 435,000 Libyans had become internally displaced.

Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, leaving a power vacuum, with neither of the warring sides being able to practice authority.

The current leadership of Libya is divided between two rival administrations battling for control of the country, with one being 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.

The North African country has in recent months witnessed the increasing presence of Daesh, whose terror campaign is focused in Iraq and Syria.

Despite several rounds of UN-mediated talks, different factions in the country have so far failed to reach an agreement over the formation of a unity government.

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