CAPTION: Thousands of people have fled heavy fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli that has left dozens dead and prompted mounting global alarm – AFP CAPTION: Thousands of people have fled heavy fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli that has left dozens dead and prompted mounting global alarm – AFP

UN urges ceasefire to avert ‘bloody battle’ for Tripoli

Thu, Apr. 11, 2019
CAIRO – 11 April 2019: UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Libya is on the brink of “a very dangerous situation” as forces loyal to the internationally recognized government and a rival strongman battle for control of the capital.

Thousands of people have fled heavy fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli that has left dozens dead and prompted mounting global alarm.

Guterres on Wednesday appealed for a halt to hostilities to prevent the situation spiraling out of control.
“It’s still time to stop,” he told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council in a closed session in New York.

“It’s still time for a cease-fire to take place, for a cessation of hostilities to take place, and to avoid the worst, which would be a dramatic, bloody battle for Tripoli.”

Nearly a week of fighting on the city’s doorstep has already killed 56 people and wounded 266, the World Health Organization said.

“Thousands of people have fled their homes, while others are trapped in conflict areas. Hospitals inside and outside (Tripoli) are receiving daily casualties,” it said.

The UN chief was in Libya when forces loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar last week launched an offensive to capture the capital, which is controlled by a UN-backed government and an array of militias.

The UN-brokered dialogue of Ghadames between conflicting parties of Libya was postponed due to the ongoing escalation in the country, President of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh told Egypt Today on Monday.

The six-party dialogue was due to convene mid-April but was postponed due to the ongoing military escalation between Libyan National Army, led by Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar and Libyan troops of the internationally-recognized government led by Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj since April 4.

"Libyan army's advance on Triploi aims to protect the constitution and the citizens' rights and freedoms and to secure their lives and properties," Saleh told Egypt Today.

Saleh accused the Tripoli-based government of impeding all courses that could lead to political solutions. He added that the military move against troops stationed in Tripoli came after the international community and Sarraj's government failed to release the prisoners from the capital.


"We welcome all Libyan military personnel to join the Libyan National Army but the problem boils down to the presence of some armed militias controlling other military groups in the western region of the country," Saleh said.

In March 2019, the special representative of the secretary-general and head of mission called for holding a dialogue gathering around 120 Libyans from different conflicting parts to reach a road map and put an end to the Libyan turmoil that sparked in 2011.
 
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