Libya’s rivals began a second round of talks on Monday over a mechanism to choose a transitional government that would lead the conflict-ridden country to elections in December next year, the United Nations said.
Acting UN envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams led the online meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum a week after the first round of talks in Tunisia failed to name an executive authority.
The 75-member forum reached an agreement to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24, 2021. They also agreed to appoint a voluntary legal committee to work on the “constitutional basis of the election.”
The political forum was the latest effort to end the chaos that engulfed the oil-rich North African nation after the 2011 overthrow and murder of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The UN mission in Libya said last week it was investigating allegations of bribes paid to some forum participants to vote for certain names to be part of the transitional government. The mission did not name anyone but pledged to impose international sanctions on anyone obstructing the talks.
The forum took place amid strong international pressure to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Libya. Previous diplomatic initiatives have all collapsed.
The warring parties agreed to a UN-brokered ceasefire last month in Geneva, an agreement providing for the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya within three months.
No progress was announced on the issue of foreign forces and mercenaries a month after signing the ceasefire agreement. Thousands of foreign fighters, including Russians, Syrians, Sudanese and Chadians, have been brought to Libya by both sides, according to UN experts.
Libya is divided between a UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the east. Both sides are supported by a range of local militias, as well as regional and foreign powers.