Libyan rival parliament suspends U.N.-sponsored peace talks

Homes are seen damaged after clashes between members of the Libyan pro-government forces, backed by the locals, and the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries, an alliance of former anti-Gaddafi rebels who have joined forces with Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, in Benghazi, January 21, 2015. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

(Reuters) – A parliament set up in Libya to rival the elected assembly has suspended U.N.-sponsored peace talks because of what it called fresh violence from the country’s recognized government, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Last week, the United Nations launched a new round of talks in Geneva aimed at defusing the oil producer’s violent struggle between two governments and parliaments vying for control four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

The rival assembly, known as the General National Congress (GNC), was set up after an armed group called Libya Dawn seized the capital, Tripoli, last summer. The internationally recognized prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, transferred his government to the east.

However, GNC spokesman Omar Hmeidan said representatives of the Tripoli assembly would not now take part in any U.N.-sponsored talks, accusing troops allied to the opposing government of storming a central bank branch in the eastern city of Benghazi and other acts of violence.

Both sides, which are allied to armed factions, have been fighting over territory and oil ports and have sought to take charge of the central bank to control vital oil revenues…

They are effectively fighting over the role of Islam in a new government. The “rivals” are akin to the Muslim Brotherhood. The elected government takes a more secular view, rather like Egypt’s Sisi. I had so little hope that UN-brokered peace talks would work I did not bother posting about it.

Other recent developments

Jan 20, 2015 Senior Libyan oil official missing: ministry

Jan 19, 2015 Libya recalls former general Haftar for army duty (he is on the secular side)

Jan 18, 2015 Three months of fighting in Libya’s Benghazi kills 600, say medics

Jan 15, 2015 Libya Central Bank seeks embassy, scholarship cuts to plug $19 billion budget gap

Jan 15, 2015 Libya may become another Somalia if U.N. talks push fails: British envoy

Jan 15, 2015 Libya warplane attacked trawler carrying gasoline to Benghazi