The United Nations has called for elections to break the current impasse in Libya following clashes between two rival militias in the capital Tripoli which claimed dozens of lives.
''The ongoing stalemate and continued delays in implementing the electoral process pose a growing threat to security in and around Tripoli, and potentially to all Libyans,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
The violence came amid military buildups by forces affiliated with Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and troops loyal to Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed prime minister by the Tobruk-based parliament in March, as both figures claim power and authority in the capital.
At least 32 people have been killed and 159 others injured in the clashes, according to Libyan officials.
''Retaliatory attacks by both sides and the announced intention by the Government of National Unity to arrest pro-Bashagha elements involved in the fighting may trigger armed clashes that could again affect the civilian population,'' DiCarlo said.
She called on both parties to reach an agreement on a constitutional framework and a timeline for long-awaited elections that have been deadlocked since last December.
Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power.