United Nations brokered peace talks aimed at forming a unified assembly out of Libya’s two rival parliaments have fallen in danger of collapsing just days before talks were set to reconvene Thursday in Morocco.
The Tripoli based General National Congress (GNC) released a statement stating that they would take a week to consider the latest proposed draft submitted by the UN.
The delay will mean the delegation from the body will be unable to attend the latest series of talks beginning in Morocco on Tuesday.
"The amendments introduced in the latest text submitted by the UN did not include [our own] proposals," the statement read.
The AFP news agency reported that large crowds gathered in front of the GNC’s headquarters to protest the UN’s latest draft proposals.
The GNC’s statement came just hours after the UN Security Council released a statement threatening to impose sanctions on any party or individual found guilty of attempting to derail the talks.
“The members of the Security Council recalled resolutions 2174 (2014), 2213 (2015) and 2214 (2015) and noted that the Sanctions Committee is prepared to sanction those who threaten Libya’s peace, stability and security or that undermine the successful completion of its political transition,” the statement read.
Libya has been divided between two parliamentary bodies since the rival House of Representatives (HoR) was formed after a largely boycotted election with a turnout of less than 20 percent. Following this, armed attempts by HoR-loyal militias failed to forcibly disband the General National Council - the Libyan parliament formed with the help of the UN and NATO following the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The conflict in Libya descended into widespread clashes when HoR army head Khalifa Haftar launched “Operation Dignity” in an armed bid to capture the cities of Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli from the GNC last August, with fighting in Benghazi remaining heated ever since.
Now operating out of the eastern border town of Tobruk, the HoR enjoys greater international influence than the GNC, though the GNC retains control over most of Libya’s internal affairs.