New U.N. envoy pushes Libya factions to sign peace deal

UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Martin Kobler speaks during a news conference in Tripoli

The new United Nations envoy to Libya is urging warring factions to sign up to a previously negotiated agreement for a unity government. U.N.-sponsored talks to end the conflict between Libya’s two rival governments and their armed factions have stalled since hardliners in both camps have resisted voting on the deal.

New envoy Martin Kobler met over the weekend with the internationally recognised government and elected parliament in the east, and with representatives of the self-declared government in Tripoli and its parliament. Four years after rebellion ousted Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has slipped even deeper into unrest with rival brigades of former rebel fighters backing two loose political alliances in a battle for control of the oil-producing country.

“I would not open the text of the agreement now, but if something is not mentioned in the agreement, it can be discussed and rapidly solved and then go to signature. The Libyans sign it. And then drive a strong government.” Martin Kobler, United Nations envoy