Sunday, October 2, 2022

UN concerned over Libya conflict, urges peace efforts

Cairo ( Associated Press) — The United Nations mission in Libya expressed concern on Saturday over the conflict in Tripoli after a night of fierce gunfights between militias in the capital.

The latest battle comes as Libya is once again divided between competing governments – one of which is based in Tripoli – despite more than a year of tentative steps towards reunification.

In a statement, the mission said the conflicts put civilians at risk and called on the Libyan people to “make every effort to preserve the country’s fragile stability at this sensitive time.”

The cause of violence in the seaside neighborhood was unclear, but videos circulated on social media showed families with children fleeing ashore as artillery fire flew across the night sky. Some accused two of the city’s powerful fighters of infighting.

Libya has been divided over the years between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by various well-armed militias and foreign governments. The Mediterranean nation has been in a state of turmoil since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that later killed longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

The country’s plan to transition to an elected government failed after an interim administration based in Tripoli, headed by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dabibah, failed to hold elections last year.

Dabibah has since refused to step down, questioning his mandate. In response, the country’s east-based lawmakers have elected a rival prime minister, Fathi Bashagha, a powerful former interior minister who now runs a separate administration outside the city of Sirte.

Dabibah, in a televised phone call, urged a powerful commander who leads the 444 Brigade – which serves his government – ​​to do what is needed to restore peace in Tripoli.

His rival, Bashagha, in a series of tweets called on armed groups to surrender their weapons. Last month, Bashagha entered Tripoli and attempted to establish his government there, but left just hours after fighting began, in which one person was killed.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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