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AU calls for global conference in July to resolve Libya conflict


AU calls for global conference in July to resolve Libya conflict
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The African Union on Monday called for a global conference in July to try to resolve the conflict in Libya, with the aim of holding elections in October. A statement said it would like to hold "an international conference on reconciliation in Libya under the auspices of the AU and the UN" during the first half of July.

It also requested the AU Commission "to take, jointly with the United Nations and the Libyan government, all the necessary measures for the organisation of presidential and legislative elections in October 2019." The AU's current chief, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has underscored the need for "African solutions to African problems."

Libya has been torn between rival administrations and a myriad of militias since the NATO-backed overthrow and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. Chief among them are an internationally recognised Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli and a parallel administration in the east loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar.

The political chaos and insecurity benefits jihadist groups, which have carried out numerous attacks in recent years, including more than 20 in 2018 against institutions linked to the GNA and Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army. A diplomat at the AU summit in Addis Ababa told AFP that African leaders viewed in a very bad light what they termed as "outside interference in Africa."

(With inputs from agencies.)

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