African Union proposes Libya reconciliation conference to back up political solution

African leaders meet at the 33rd summit of the African Union. [Photo: Social Media]
African Union leaders vowed on Monday to push peace efforts in Libya, a sign of the bloc’s desire to play a bigger role in resolving the continent’s conflicts.

Agence France Presse (AFP) said that as the 55-member group wrapped up a two-day summit, Smail Chergui, the AU’s Peace and Security Council chief, offered assistance to revive Libya’s faltering UN-led peace process.

“It’s (the) UN itself which needs us now,” Chergui said. It’s time to bring this situation to an end. The two organisations should work hand in hand for that goal,” he added.

The AU leadership has complained about being overlooked in Libya-related peacemaking efforts, which have been led primarily by the UN and heavily involved European nations.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday said he understood the AU’s “frustration” at having “been put aside” when it comes to Libya.

Talks between Libya’s warring factions ended on Saturday with no deal on a ceasefire. The UN has proposed a second round of negotiations for February 18.

Chergui said the AU could support peace if a cessation of hostilities agreement is finally signed, declaring the AU wanted to be part of an observer mission to ensure any deal is respected.

“This is an African problem, and we have a certain sense that maybe others do not have,” Chergui said.

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