African Union calls for peace conference on Libya in July

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The goal of the summit would be to set the framework for nationwide polls to take place in October.


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The African Union (AU) has proposed a global conference in July to try to resolve the conflict in Libya with the aim of holding elections in October.

A statement on Tuesday said the 55-member body would like to hold “an international conference on reconciliation in Libya under the auspices of the AU and UN” during the first half of July.

The declaration also requested the AU commission, alongside the United Nations and the Libyan government, take “all the necessary measures for the organisation of presidential and legislative elections in October 2019”.

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The North African country has been torn apart by power struggles and undermined by chronic insecurity since the NATO-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. 

The country has at least two rival administrations. One, recognised by the UN, is based in the capital Tripoli. While the other has made its headquarters in the eastern city of Tobruk.

In addition, there are dozens of armed groups vying for power and state wealth.

Suicide bombers have targeted a number of Libya’s vital institutions as armed groups take advantage of the chaotic political situation.

In a separate development, forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar of the self-declared Libya National Army (LNA) assumed full control of El Sharara, Libya’s biggest oil field. 

The LNA reached a remote pumping station in El Sharara last Wednesday but hadn’t moved on the main field, which a force of state guards and tribesmen had seized and shut down in December. 

“Peacefully, with no resistance, LNA has full control over Sharara oilfield with all its facilities,” the LNA spokesman said on Twitter, adding the facility was being secured.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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