UN brokers ceasefire between armed groups in Tripoli

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Tripoli, Sep 4 (IANS/AKI) Militias fighting for control of the Libyan capital Tripoli agreed on a ceasefire on Tuesday following talks mediated by the United Nations special envoy Ghassan Salame, the UN's mission to Libya said.

"Under the auspices of Special Representative Ghassan Salame, a ceasefire agreement was reached and signed today to end all hostilities, protect civilians, safeguard public and private property and reopen Mitiga Airport in Tripoli," UNSMIL tweeted.

UNSMIL's tweet did not state when the truce was due to enter into effect.

Members of the Italian cabinet were due on Tuesday to hold talks on the violent clashes between rival armed groups that have killed at least 50 people including at least 19 civilians and injured over 120 since August 24.

Italy's foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi on Tuesday spoke to Libya's UN-backed premier Fayez al-Sarraj about the deadly clashes in Tripoli, the foreign ministry said. During their phone conversation, Moavero "confirmed Italy's solidarity with and support to the Libyan people and their institutions," the ministry stated.

Moavero assured Sarraj "of the unwavering Italian commitment to galvanise effective and determined action by the international community in favour of dialogue and reconciliation...to cement security and stability in Libya," the foreign ministry said.

Italy plans to hold an international conference on Libya in the autumn, with a focus on security, reconciliation and human rights, and Moavero is ready to report to parliament on the situation in the turmoil-wracked country, according to the foreign ministry.

The Sarraj government declared a state of emergency in Tripoli on Sunday, saying in a statement it was necessary to "protect and secure civilians, public and private possessions and vital institutions".

The violence in Tripoli has cast serious doubt as to whether the war-wracked country is ready to hold planned elections later this year.