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Libya government urges UN experts to publish corruption claims

Libya's prime minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dheibah speaks during a press conference in Tripoli [AFP]

Date of publication: 3 March, 2021

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Libya's interim government called on UN experts to publish a report containing allegations of vote-buying during UN-led peace talks.

Libya's new interim executive called on UN experts on Tuesday to make public a report containing allegations of vote-buying during peace talks led by the world body.

A UN panel had found in a confidential report, seen by AFP on Sunday, that at least three participants were offered bribes of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Interim prime minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah's administration issued a statement on Tuesday demanding that the UN experts "publish their report on allegations of bribery" at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in November.

"We will not allow anyone linked to corruption to take up a position of responsibility," said the new unity government, vowing to "bring together Libyans and re-unify institutions".

The report was prepared by UN experts tasked with examining breaches of an international arms embargo on Libya, and is to be presented to the Security Council in March.

A diplomatic source told AFP that the passage in question may be left out of the final, published report.

The LPDF, launched in Tunisia in November, is part of a UN effort to bring an end to a decade of violence and unify state institutions in Libya.

Last month its 75 delegates, selected by the UN to represent a broad range of Libyan constituencies, appointed Dbeibah and a three-member presidential council to see the country through to December elections.

The Tunisia talks were already marred by allegations of graft before Sunday's revelations.

Dbeibah, a billionaire from the western city of Misrata, has not yet named his cabinet and must win a vote of confidence from the Libyan parliament by March 19.

The speaker of parliament has said the legislature will convene on March 8 to discuss such a vote.

The UN's Libya mission UNSMIL said Tuesday that it could not comment on the bribery allegations, noting that the expert panel "is a separate entity, completely independent from UNSMIL" and reporting directly to the Security Council.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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