By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 25 February 2015:
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is scrambling to reconstruct the political dialogue, . . .[restrict]after this week’s planned talks in Morocco collapsed when the House of Representatives announced it would not be sending delegates.
UNSMIL today warned all parties that they should not “allow this window of opportunity to slip away”.
Some members of the HoR have said that they thought this week’s new round of talks came too soon after the slaughter of 42 people in the Guba triple-suicide bomb attacks. There was also the fear among others that the government and parliament was going to be ambushed with a National Unity Government scheme, that effectively ignored the democratic choice of voters in last June’s general election.
The government point of view was set out by Libyan Chargé d’Affaires at the Washington Embassy Wafa Bughaigis. In an interview with CNN yesterday she said that while they supported peace talks and dialogue that would hopefully lead to the formation of a NUG, the HoR and the Thinni government wanted the international community to continue to recognise their constitutional mandate in “monitoring and forming the new national unity government”.
She also said the government wanted international support to stop arms shipments and the movement of funds by “terrorist entities”. This would include the provision of intelligence.
It is understood that UNSMIL chief Bernardino Leon was planning to fly to Tobruk today, presumably to try and persuade the HoR to reverse its decision. However, the trip was cancelled for reasons that are unclear.
Meanwhile, UNSMIL has sought to clarify what it said were a number of misconceptions. In particular it said today that everyone taking part in the talks so far had been “fully transparent during their work on the dialogue; decisions were made by participants after broad and inclusive deliberations and consultations”.
It said that continued splits over the dialogue posed a clear threat to Libya’s unity and cohesion. “Accordingly, it is urgent and necessary to reach an agreement on a strong and independent government, whose highest priority should be restoring the confidence of the citizens in the Libyan State”.
UNSMIL pointed out that Leon had said many times that the UN was neutral in the talks. It added that the last occasion he had emphasised this was when Leon had phoned Thinni to express his condolences on the day of the Guba massacre.