U.N. delegation holds talks in Tripoli to broker militia ceasefire


A U.N. delegation was holding talks in Tripoli on Friday to try to broker a ceasefire between armed factions that have turned the Libyan capital into a battleground after the worst fighting since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

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.

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.
“UNSMIL is working closely with the international community in a joint effort to achieve a durable and sustainable ceasefire,” it said.

Tripoli was mostly calm on Thursday and Friday, the quietest days since the clashes erupted between Islamist-allied Misrata brigades and fighters from the western town of Zintan who control the airport.

Three years after the fall of Gaddafi, Libya’s fragile government is unable to impose authority on groups of former rebels who refuse to disband and are allied with competing political factions battling over post-war dominance.