SI | STOP-Imperialism.com

UN envoy warns of ‘widening conflagration’ amid Haftar’s push to seize Tripoli

UN envoy warns of ‘widening conflagration’ amid Haftar’s push to seize Tripoli

UN envoy warns of ‘widening conflagration’ amid Haftar’s push to seize Tripoli
April 18
21:51 2019

The UN envoy to Libya has warned of a “a widening conflagration” in the North African country amid a Saudi-backed push by strongman Khalifa Haftar to seize the capital Tripoli. 

Ghassan Salame said Thursday international divisions have emboldened Haftar, the leader of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), to launch his offensive to oust the government in Tripoli.

Libya has been divided between two rival governments – the House of Representatives based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Serraj in Tripoli.

Haftar, who is presumably loyal to the government in the east, commenced his deadly campaign on April 4 to conquer Tripoli, in a move rebuked by UN chief Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council.

Salame, the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, said the fighting south of Tripoli between Haftar's forces and those of the GNA have reached a “deadlock”.

“After the very first successes of the Libyan National Army two weeks ago, we are witnessing a military deadlock,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Security Council was divided on how to defuse the crisis after fresh talks on a draft resolution demanding a truce in Tripoli failed to yield an agreement.

During the council’s session, Germany which holds the council presidency proposed the draft resolution but Russia and South Africa opposed it, arguing that Haftar’s offensive is unlikely to produce a humanitarian crisis.

The council was due to meet Thursday to hear a briefing on the situation on the ground and consult on the way forward, according to AFP.

The 75-year-old Haftar who enjoys the loyalty of a group of armed militia and backing from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt has taken upon himself to protect the government in Tobruk.

Armed forces and militia loyal to the GNA have been fighting back.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday, the fighting has so far killed at least 205 people and wounded more than 900 others.

On Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that more than 25,000 people have been displaced by the clashes.

Libya has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power after an uprising and a NATO military intervention.

His ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.

WHO: Death toll from Libya's Tripoli clashes exceeds 200

In a related development on Thursday, the World Health Organization said at least 205 people have been so far killed and more than 900 others wounded in the battle for control of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Reporting at least 205 people dead and 913 wounded, WHO added that its medical and surgical teams were deployed to field hospitals near the front lines.

According to a report by the International Organization for Migration on Wednesday, more than 25,000 people have been displaced by the clashes between GNA forces and Haftar's fighters south of Tripoli.

About Author

admin

admin

Related Articles