UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a surprise visit to Libya

UN chief Ban Ki-moon

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew to Tripoli on Saturday to urge the warring factions fighting for control of Libya to make peace, in the highest-level visit since an armed faction took the capital in August.

Oil producer Libya is struggling with two governments and two parliaments since an armed group from the western city of Misrata seized Tripoli, setting up its own cabinet and assembly while forcing the internationally recognized government to move to the east.

Western powers and Libya’s neighbours worry that the North African country will become a failed state as former rebels who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 now fight for control and a share of the vast oil reserves.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a surprise visit to Libya

“There is no alternative to dialogue,” said the U.N. secretary general after arrival. “It is my conviction that all problems in Libya can be solved through dialogue. Nevertheless, we understand that the path will be long and difficult. Peace building always is.”

Ban met a deputy speaker and other lawmakers from the elected parliament, the House of Representatives, which has moved to the eastern city of Tobruk, as well as Misrata members of the assembly who have boycotted the sessions.

He said he had come to support a U.N.-sponsored dialogue to try to end militia fighting.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a surprise visit to Libya

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