UN calls for unity government in Libya
Algerian Minister for Africa and Maghreb Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, (L) speaks with United Nations Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Bernardino Leon, as they take part in talks between Libya's rival factions, hosted in the Algerian capital, Algiers on April 13, 2015. (AFP/Farouk Batiche)
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The UN called on Monday for Libya's rival factions to form a unity government to end the country's political and security crisis.
The 15-member Security Council said in a statement that it was "prepared to sanction those who threaten Libya’s peace, stability or security or that obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition."
The statement came as a second round of UN-facilitated talks between Libya's political rivals got underway in Algeria on Monday. The talks are aimed at ending the violence that has plagued the country since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The council "strongly urged” all parties to agree on forming a national unity government “to end Libya’s political, security and institutional crisis." The second round of talks follow discussions in March.
“Only those who are against democracy, who are for extremism, are excluding themselves [from the talks],” Bernardino Leon, head of the UN mission in Libya, said. “We will all of us have to give up a little bit to achieve agreement.”
Since the end of Gaddafi’s decades-long rule, Libya’s political divisions have produced two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military.
The internationally recognized government, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, is dominated by Gen. Khalifa Hifter and is overseen by the House of Representatives legislature.
A rival administration set up in Tripoli in August last year is run by the General National Congress.