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African Union to host Libya ‘reconciliation’ conference

The African Union will host in July a conference, a “reconciliation” opportunity aimed at uniting Libya’s political rivals in July, AU commission chief Moussa Faki said on late Saturday.

During a press conference in Tunis, on the sidelines of an Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital, Faki said “it’s an opportunity for the Libyans.”

He also called on political actors and factions to think seriously about Libya’s future.

“It’s high time that the (political) actors discuss the fate of their country,” Faki said.

The July conference, which will be held in Addis Ababa, followed a meeting on Libya attended by Faki, UN chief Antonio Guterres and the EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini.

Since 2011 uprising which ousted dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has been locked in bitter feuds between various political factions. The country is still mired in deep chaos in spite of a series of international efforts to unite the country.

The United Nations is due to hold another conference next month in the central Libyan city of Ghadames, aimed at charting up a “roadmap” to elections and peace in the North African country.

Between 120 and 150 delegates from all the Libyan political spectrum are expected to attend the forum from April 14-16.

The UN envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, urged rival groups to seize the conference’s “crucial opportunity” to put an end to the political turmoil in the country, whose political class was accused by him of being corrupt.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera TV late on Wednesday, Ghassan Salame said it was “saddening to see them taking over the wealth, investing it overseas, and engaging in money laundering,” while they ignored “”citizens who are poor and miserable.”

Libya is currently administered by different rival groups.

Following years of conflict, a new UN-backed unity government was installed in a naval base in Tripoli in 2016.

However, the Government of National Accord [NGA] faces opposition from two other rival governments, including one in the east supported by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army.

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