Libya’s Rival Officials Conclude Election Talks without Deal

Libyans shop during the holy month of Ramadan in the Old City of Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP)
Libyans shop during the holy month of Ramadan in the Old City of Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP)
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Libya’s Rival Officials Conclude Election Talks without Deal

Libyans shop during the holy month of Ramadan in the Old City of Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP)
Libyans shop during the holy month of Ramadan in the Old City of Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP)

Rival Libyan officials wrapped up weeklong talks in the Egyptian capital without an agreement on constitutional arrangements for elections, the United Nations said Tuesday.

Twelve lawmakers from Libya’s east-based parliament and 12 from the High Council of State, an advisory body in the capital of Tripoli in western Libya, took part in the UN-brokered talks that concluded Monday in Cairo.

The UN special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said the officials agreed to reconvene next month after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Williams said the UN was working to seize consensus reached earlier this year between the two chambers with the aim of reaching an agreement on a constitutional and legislative framework for parliamentary and presidential elections.

The talks came as Libya has been pulled apart again, with two rival governments claiming power after tentative steps towards unity in the past year, following a decade of war.

In February, the country’s east-based House of Representatives named a new prime minister, former interior minister Fathi Bashagha, to lead a new interim government.

The lawmakers there claimed the mandate of interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibah, who is based in Tripoli, expired when the election failed to take place as planned in December.

Dbeibah, however, stood defiant against efforts to replace his government. He said he will hand over power only to an elected government.

With the two leaders sticking to their positions, turmoil soared, and heavily armed militias mobilized in the western region - including the capital, where they occasionally blocked roads.

Tribal leaders and protesters in the southern region also shut down oil facilities including Libya’s largest oil field, demanding Dbeibah to step down.

The developments have raised fears fighting could return to Libya after a period of relative calm since warring parties signed a UN-brokered cease-fire late in 2020.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.