Saturday, February 21, 2015

Morocco to Host Talks Between Libyan Factions.

The U.N. is offering Morocco a chance to get involved again with the Libyan issue - an opportunity for Rabat to return, after three years of forced absence, to the forefront of the issue and to play a constructive role

Shaken by the violence and political instability, Libyan rival political factions - the parliament of Toubrouk, recognised by the international community, and that of Tripoli, controlled by Islamists  - have agreed in principle to a meeting in Morocco. They will begin discussions to find a solution to the chaos prevailing in the country since the fall of the Gaddafi regime.

In Rabat, Libyans will continue negotiations already initiated in mid-January in Geneva and on 10 February in Ghadames, about 650 km south-west of Tripoli, on the border with Tunisia.

They must agree on four main points: restore confidence, alleviate the suffering of the population, achieve a truce and finally agree to form a national unity government. The proposal to relocate the peace talks between the warring brothers to Morocco, comes from the United Nations. Given the extremely tense environment, the Islamists in Tripoli have finally resigned to accept the proposal of made by Ban Ki-moon.

Although Morocco was a member of the club "Friends of the Libyan people", the mainstay of the revolution of February 17, 2011, the country was ousted as a participant by Algeria under the pretext that Morocco has no border with Libya. The return of Morocco to the club is seen internationally as a positive step.

The Background

The Second Libyan Civil War is an ongoing conflict between Islamist forces (also called the "New General National Congress" or "Libyan Dawn"); forces aligned with General Khalifa Haftar and the elected parliament or "Council of Deputies" based in the eastern port city of Tobruk. Both forces are made up of a "myriad" of militias, that sometimes change sides. After October 2014 a third force, ISIL militants, entered the war, taking over the town of Derna.

The military of Egypt and the UAE have also become involved, making airstrikes against Libyan Dawn and ISIL forces. Qatar has aided Islamist insurgent forces.

As of February 2015, damage and disorder from the war has been considerable. There are frequent electric outages, little business activity, a loss in revenues from oil by 90%. Over 3,000 people have died from the fighting, and "nearly a third" of the country’s population has fled to Tunisia as refugees.

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