U.N. Libya delegation talks in Tripoli to broker ceasefire

A fighter from Zintan brigade watches as smoke rises after rockets fired by one of Libya's militias struck and ignited a fuel tank in Tripoli August 2, 2014.

A fighter from Zintan brigade watches as smoke rises after rockets fired by one of Libya’s militias struck and ignited a fuel tank in Tripoli August 2, 2014.

A U.N. delegation held talks in Tripoli, Friday, to try to broker a ceasefire between armed factions who have turned the Libyan capital into a battleground after the worst fighting since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, according to Reuter’s news agency.

The delegation, led by a representative of the United Nations mission in Libya, known as UNSMIL, aims to end the violence, help displaced residents and alleviate food and gasoline shortages, UNSMIL said in a statement on its website.

On Wednesday, the newly inaugurated Libyan parliament had threatened to act against warring militias who don’t abide by its call for an immediate cease-fire, which it says will be supervised by the United Nations.

The parliament’s call came after it convened in the eastern city of Tobruk, after violence swept through the capital, Tripoli, and Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi.

Some politicians and lawmakers expressed support for international intervention to help stabilize the country. Awash with weapons and dominated by militia fighters, they say only an outside force can put an end to the fighting.

While many Libyans fear foreign intervention would only spark full-fledged civil war, advocates of the idea want to see a repeat to the NATO intervention in 2011 that broke the back of Qaddafi’s heavily armed brigades.

Meanwhile. most Western governments followed the United States and the United Nations in evacuating diplomats and shutting embassies after three weeks of clashes between factions fighting over Tripoli airport that have killed 200 people.

 
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