|Date: Jul 31, 2019|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|UN calls for Eid truce in Libya, warns foreign support fuelling conflict|
UNITED NATIONS: A United Nations envoy called Monday for a truce to be declared in Libya around Aug. 10, and warned that an influx of weapons from foreign supporters in violation of an arms embargo was fueling the conflict.
The truce should be declared to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame told the Security Council, and be accompanied by confidence-building moves like an exchange of prisoners and remains and release of those arbitrarily detained.
Libya has been riven by violence since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since April, the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) under Khalifa Haftar has been trying to take Tripoli from forces allied with the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), but the LNA offensive has bogged down on the capital’s outskirts.
"In the course of the current fighting, serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties have been committed," Salame told the 15-member Security Council.
"More than ever, Libyans are now fighting the wars of other countries who appear content to fight to the last Libyan and to see the country entirely destroyed in order to settle their own scores," he said.
The warring parties both enjoy military support from regional powers. Haftar’s forces have been supplied for years by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, while Turkey recently shipped arms to Tripoli to stop Haftar’s assault, diplomats say.
"Armed drones, armored vehicles and pickup trucks fitted with heavy armaments, machine guns, recoilless rifles, mortar and rocket launchers, have been recently transferred to Libya with the complicity and indeed outright support of foreign governments," Salame said.