UN postpones Libyan national conference after Tripoli clashes

A UN-sponsored national conference aimed at restoring stability back to Libya scheduled to start on 14 April has been postponed after General Khalifa Haftar ordered his troops to take Tripoli

Ghassan Salame, head of the UN mission to Libya, UNSMIL
Ghassan Salame, head of the UN mission to Libya, UNSMIL

The escalation in fighting around the Libyan capital Tripoli has forced the UN to postpone a national conference scheduled for next week.

The postponement was announced by Ghassan Salame, head of UNSMIL, the UN Libya mission, on Tuesday.

The conference would have brought together all factions in Libya in an attempt to find a political settlement to the turmoil that has gripped the north African country since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011.

But General Khalifa Haftar’s decision last week to capture Tripoli, which is the base of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, has led to an escalation in fighting between the rival factions.

Haftar ordered his forces to take Tripoli, in a move that caught many by surprise. There have been skirmishes in the outskirts of the Libyan capital, which have left 45 dead, many injured and almost 3,000 displaced.

Salame insisted the conference will still be held when the conditions in Libya were right. 

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