UN envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams heads online meeting of Libyan Political Dialogue Forum a week after talks in Tunisia failed to name an executive authority.

UN mission in Libya says it was investigating allegations of bribes paid for some participants in the forum to vote for certain names to be part of the transitional government.
UN mission in Libya says it was investigating allegations of bribes paid for some participants in the forum to vote for certain names to be part of the transitional government. (Reuters)

Libyan rivals have begun a second round of talks on a mechanism to choose a transitional government that would lead the conflict-stricken country to elections in December next year, the United Nations has said.

UN acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams headed the online meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum on Monday, a week after the first round of the talks in Tunisia failed to name an executive authority.

The 75-member forum reached an agreement to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24, 2021. 

They also agreed to name a volunteer legal committee to work on the "constitutional basis for the election."

Sanctions for obstructing talks

The political forum was the latest effort to end the chaos that engulfed the oil-rich North African nation after the 2011 overthrow and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The UN mission in Libya said last week it was investigating allegations of bribes paid for some participants in the forum to vote for certain names to be part of the transitional government. 

The mission did not name anyone but vowed to impose international sanctions on anyone obstructing the talks.

The forum took place amid a heavy international push to reach a peaceful settlement to Libya's conflict. 

Previous diplomatic initiatives have all collapsed.

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UN-brokered ceasefire

The warring sides agreed to a UN-brokered ceasefire last month in Geneva, the deal included the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya within three months.

No progress was announced on the issue of foreign forces and mercenaries a month after they inked the ceasefire deal. 

Thousands of foreign fighters, including Russians, Syrians, Sudanese, and Chadians, have been brought to Libya by both sides, according to UN experts.

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Oil revenues

The talks come as part of a wider peacemaking process along with a military ceasefire agreed between the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and warlord Khalifa Haftar, who tries to garner international credibility with his militias. 

The GNA emerged from a UN-backed political agreement in 2015, but the peace was spurned when in 2019, warlord Haftar launched an offensive on Tripoli.

In a show of support to the UN mission, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK on Monday threatened to "take measures" against anyone standing in the way of talks aimed at ending the conflict, without specifying.

In a joint statement, the four European countries urged the Libyan parties to "fully implement the ceasefire agreement," and find an agreed "mechanism for the fair and transparent use of oil revenues."

Forces loyal to warlord Hafter, who are the likely culprit behind newly discovered mass graves, announced in September an end to a monthslong blockade of the country's vital oil fields and terminals.

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Source: AP