Saturday, October 4, 2014

Islamist militias in Tripoli and Benghazi Libya reject peace talks brokered by UN

- Islamist militias in Tripoli and also in Benghazi rejected the UN brokered peace talks that are aimed at ending the conflict between mostly Islamist militias and supporters of CIA-linked General Khalifa Haftar.

The Libya Dawn coalition centered in Tripoli said that it would continue with its military operations. The group controls Tripoli. The Shura of Benghazi Revolutionaries that controls most of Benghazi except the airport which is controlled by Haftar loyalists, rejected the talks as unfair.
 The UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon is asking that all parties agree to an immediate ceasefire. No representatives of militias were at the talks. Members of the rival government in Tripoli formed by the Islamist militias, however, did attend a UN-backed meeting in Ghadames on September 29, last Monday. There were 12 members from the Tobruk-based House of Representatives elected this spring and from the rival government formed by a rival prime minister Omar al-Hassi chosen by the General National Congress. Leon said: "We have agreed to start a political process to address all issues in a peaceful way with a very strong call for a complete ceasefire throughout the country. Members of the House of Representatives were sending a very clear message that they wanted to solve the problems for people in Libya – the people who are suffering, after weeks of confrontation. They equally agreed that humanitarian relief would be provided for all Libyans." Naim Ghariani of the House of Representatives called on all sides to talk to commanders to arrange an immediate ceasefire: "We are committed to this dialogue. This was a preliminary meeting to launch dialogue and there was keenness to send a positive and optimist message." Another MP Aisa Al-Arabi from the Tobruk group said: "There were some differences in viewpoint, but the desire for the success of this dialogue was clear from both sides, due to the certainty of both parties that the alternative is bad and will result in a civil war tearing the country and leading us to a war that may not end for years."
The talks in Ghadames just a day after prime minister Abdullah al-Thani's new government took office in the eastern city of Tobruk. Some countries such as France have been calling for foreign intervention in Libya. There has been some foreign intervention already in that the Islamist militias who took over Tripoli were subject to bombing attacks in several night raids that Haftar claims were joint operations of his forces and the international community. Rebels, and the US at first, blamed the attacks on Egypt and the UAE. Both countries deny they were involved in the bombings. Haftar does not have aircraft of the type used in the raids.
 At a recent meeting of 15 countries and officials of the elected Libyan government in Madrid Spain, the group rejected the idea of foreign intervention in Libya. However, Egypt has now offered to help train pro-government forces. Egypt's President el-Sisi is anxious to see the powerful Islamist militias in Libya defeated. His own government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group even though they won the first free elections in Egypt after Mubarak was overthrown. El-Sisi led the coup that resulted in the ouster of former president Morsi.

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