UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations special envoy to Libya says a decisive phase of negotiations between Libya’s warring factions is set to start next week, saying the strife-town country must move towards a solution.

‘The crisis in Libya is deepening in all aspects, in political security, economic and financial aspects,’ said Bernardino Leon,  the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in the Moroccan coastal town of Skhirat on Friday. ‘We have conveyed to the parties a sense of urgency. Libya has no time.’ ‘The UN mission has decided to give the parties time to organize and prepare for this decisive phase,’  Leon added. ‘They will be back here on Thursday, and they have to come all of them ready to negotiate,’ he added.

Leon also stated that the UN has notified the rival groups of ‘the sense of urgency’ in the violence-wracked North African country, urging them to find a political solution to end Libya’s deadly crisis. ‘The crisis in Libya is deepening in all aspects. To reach a solution soon Libya cannot wait anymore,’ he said.

According to the UN official, the talks are aimed at forming ‘the national unity government, which is the most important element, and the security arrangements.’ Meanwhile, the European Union said the bloc is mulling over a plan to send a civil or a military mission to the oil-rich country if the negotiations bring about a favourable result. ‘We have in mind both military and civilian missions to contribute to the protection of an eventual government of national unity,’ said an unnamed EU official.

Earlier in the day, Leon held talks with a delegation from the Tripoli-based General National Congress in Skhirat. This is while Libya’s Tobruk-based internationally recognized government had no representative in the Skhirat talks, saying it needs another week to prepare for the negotiations with the armed opposition.

The two sides have so far held several rounds of UN-brokered peace talks that have failed to deliver any practical results. Libya has two rival camps vying for control of the country, with one controlling Tripoli, and the other, Libya’s internationally recognized government, governing the cities of Bayda and Tobruk.

Libya’s government and elected parliament moved to the northeastern city of Tobruk after an armed group based in the northwestern city of Misrata seized Tripoli and most government institutions in August 2014. Libya plunged into chaos following a 2011 uprising against the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.

The country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups, which refuse to lay down arms. The presence of Islamic State terrorists has further complicated the situation in the country.