UN in Libya calls for "freeze" in fighting

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Women at Friday prayers in Benghazi © Kate Thomas/IRIN

The UN's special envoy to Libya is urging all parties to cease hostilities for a short period in order to create an environment conducive to holding talks.

Bernardino Leon, who is also the head of the UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), has been trying to convene a political dialogue to resolve the crisis.

The country has been in turmoil since the ouster of the late President Muammar al-Qhadafi five years ago.

In Tobruk and in Tripoli, Mr Leon met with main stakeholders who are expected to take part in the proposed dialogue.

In both stops, the Special Representative stressed the need to convene the second round of political dialogue very soon.

In the north-eastern town of Al-Marj, he met with General Khalifa Haftar, as part of efforts to de-escalate the military situation.

The retired General is a former chief of staff of Qhadafi's armed forces.

Mr Leon also met with commanders of armed brigades from the City of Misrata, who said they will consider the UN proposal to freeze hostilities.

He stressed the importance of avoiding the country’s slide towards deeper conflict and economic collapse.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration:  1’11″

 

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