This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Libya’s warring parties meet to discuss practical measures for ceasefire
Libya’s two opposition parties have met for the first time in the war-ravaged country to discuss how to implement a nationwide ceasefire.
According to a statement from UNSMIL issued late on Tuesday, the UN Support Mission in Libya, military representatives from the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) have met in the southern city of Ghadames.
Participants “will initiate discussions on the implementation of the ceasefire agreement”, by establishing joint committees and a monitoring and verification mechanism, UNSMIL said.
Libya has been in crisis since the 2011 overthrow of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, leading to two rival administrations, with the GNA in the capital, Tripoli, while the LNA controls large areas of the east.
The talks – which are happening in parallel with other discussions aiming to bring about national elections and fix the oil-rich country’s economic collapse - follow the signing of a “permanent” ceasefire agreement by both delegations last month in Geneva.
UN brings Cyprus leaders together, mull future talks on divided island
The leaders of the divided island of Cyprus have met in the capital Nicosia in an encounter convened by the United Nations.
On Wednesday, a statement by the Secretary-General’s Good Offices Mission in Cyprus said that the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, had met for the first time on behalf of their communities.
Describing their meeting as “cordial”, the statement continued that Mr. Tatar and Mr. Anastasiades had “expressed their determination to positively respond to the UN Secretary-General’s commitment” to convene fresh talks about the island, “at an appropriate stage”.
UN chief António Guterres met Mr. Anastasiades and the then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı, in Berlin 12 months ago.
Any future UN-led discussions would include representatives of Cyprus's two communities, along with guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and Britain.
Talks were last held in Switzerland in 2017 on the future of the island, which has been divided since 1974.
Those discussions centred around six main issues, including security and guarantees, new territorial boundaries and power-sharing, but talks stalled after a week.
UN chief urges inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia amid ethnic attacks
UN chief António Guterres has called for inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia to diffuse increasing tensions across Africa’s second most-populous nation.
The Secretary-General’s appeal follows reports that at least 54 people were killed during attacks on three villages in the west of the country at the weekend.
Eyewitnesses claimed that victims were rounded up and killed, while homes were torched and livestock stolen, in violence that is widely viewed as ethnically motivated.
The rebel Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) has been reportedly blamed for the attacks on Sunday in Oromia state against ethnic Amhara people.
The civilians targeted were mainly children, women and the elderly.
In a related development, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday announced counter-measures against the People’s Liberation Front of Tigray (TPLF) following a separate attack on a federal military base in the northwest of the country.
It comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which led to the postponement of national elections, desert locust infestations, flooding and mass displacement.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.