Libya calls for supervised ceasefire

2014-08-07 22:12
Fighters from the Misarata brigade fire towards Tripoli airport in an attempt to wrest control from a powerful rival militia. (AP)

Fighters from the Misarata brigade fire towards Tripoli airport in an attempt to wrest control from a powerful rival militia. (AP)

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Tobruk - The newly inaugurated Libyan parliament has threatened to act against warring militias who don't abide by its call for an immediate cease-fire, which it says will be supervised by the United Nations.

The parliament's call late on Wednesday is among its first since it convened in the eastern city of Tobruk, after violence swept through the capital, Tripoli, and Libya's second largest city of Benghazi.

In a statement obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, the parliament called on "all warring parties without exception," to enact an "immediate and unconditional ceasefire, ending all violence and attacks on civilians and civilian areas."

Also on Wednesday, the parliament also made changes to a previous constitutional declaration, giving itself more powers it said would help it rein in out-of-control militias.

The parliament's call could very well go nowhere however, like several other calls for cease-fires made by the outgoing interim government. Militias have grown in power since the toppling of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The decision came as representatives of the governments of neighbouring Egypt and Algeria, as well as the United States, expressed "deep concern" about violence in Libya and possible regional repercussions. In a statement issued after the representatives met on Wednesday, the group urged for an immediate ceasefire and talks and expressed opposition to "outside interference in Libya's transition."

Some politicians and lawmakers expressed support for international intervention to help stabilize the country. Awash with weapons and dominated by militia fighters, they say only an outside force can put an end to the fighting.

While many Libyans fear foreign intervention would only spark full-fledged civil war, advocates of the idea want to see a repeat to the NATO intervention in 2011 that broke the back of Gaddafi's heavily armed brigades.

Read more on:    un  |  libya  |  north africa

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