Libyan political process in final stages, UN envoy says

2015-08-27 08:02

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New York (dpa) - The UN-brokered political dialogue process in Libya is in its "final stages," a UN official said on Wednesday, while noting that the humanitarian situation in the country remains dire with the Islamic State extremist group graining ground.

Briefing the UN Security Council, Bernardino Leon, UN envoy for Libya, said that after seven months of the UN-brokered peace talks, the country's political parties are close to a power-sharing agreement that would end the ongoing conflict among warring militias.

"I am increasingly confident that the process is finally drawing to its final stages," Leon told the council.

An agreement is essential to unite the country, where the humanitarian situation is increasingly dire, with Islamic State on the move, he said.

Leon said that after seizing the coastal city Sirte, the group now controls a 200km stretch of coastline east and west of the city.

The envoy also warned that 1.2 million Libyans don't have access to food and 435 000 people have been internally displaced by the fighting.

"The scale of human suffering is staggering for a country with large oil reserves and strong economic potential," Leon said.

He added that 250 000 migrants are estimated to be in the country, which is major transit hub for refugees making their way to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

"Many of them [are] facing significant protection issues, including arbitrary arrest and detention in abusive conditions, sexual abuse, forced labour, exploitation and extortion," he said.

Read more on:    un  |  libya  |  migrants  |  north africa

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