Feb 12, 2019 15:06 Asia/Tehran

The African Union (AU) has requested the AU Commission to make effort to organize presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya in October.

Iran Press/Africa: The AU High-Level Committee on Libya requested the AU Commission to "take the necessary measures, jointly with the United Nations, with a view to organizing during the first half of July 2019, the Inclusive Libyan National Peace and Reconciliation Forum" and to "take, jointly with the United Nations and the Libyan Government, all the necessary measures for the organization of presidential and legislative elections in October 2019".

The AU said in a communique, released on Tuesday, following the two-day 32nd AU Summit, which was held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Sputnik reported.

Libya has been gripped by conflict since 2011 when the country’s longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed. The eastern part of the country is governed by the parliament, backed by the Libyan National Army and located in Tobruk.

Constant fighting and the destruction of infrastructure has created a 'severe protracted crisis' in Libya, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC ).

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The UN-backed Government of National Accord, headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli.

The existence of two rival legislatures - the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and the House of Representatives (HOR) based in eastern city of Tobruk - each with its own central bank and national oil company - highlights another challenge in the country's plight to enact the necessary reforms and, ultimately, hold elections.

On September 10, armed men stormed the headquarters of Libya's National Oil Company in Tripoli, engaging guards in a deadly gun battle that left at least four people dead, including two National Oil Company employees.

The United Nations tried to organize the first nation-wide presidential and parliamentary elections last December, however, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame warned the UN Security Council in early November that the deadline could not be met and suggested postponing the elections until next spring.

The African Union is actively involved in seeking a lasting peace in Libya, including through the AU High-Level Committee on Libya, comprised of the organization's member states representing the five African sub-regions and Libya's neighboring countries.

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