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UN Envoy: No Libya Peace Conference Amid Fighting

UN special envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame

The United Nations' special envoy to Libya has hinted that next week's planned peace conference could be postponed amid ongoing fighting between rival militias for control of the capital, Tripoli.

In a statement on April 9, Ghassan Salame expressed hope that the meeting will be convened as soon as conditions permit, saying: "We cannot ask people to take part in the conference during gunfire and air strikes."

The UN had planned to hold a conference in the southwestern town of Ghadames from April 14 to April 16 to discuss a way out of the country’s eight-year conflict.

Last week, militia commander Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive against Tripoli, which is controlled by militias that support Libya’s UN-recognized government.

Haftar has since defied international calls to halt the advance that has killed dozens of people.

Russia has been a key supporter of the militia commander, along with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The North African country has been torn by violence, political instability, and power struggles since longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP, AFP, the BBC, and Reuters