UN Envoy pushes for a resolution to the crisis in Libya

North Africa

Amidst continued clashes between the eastern-based Libyan National Army and the western-based Government of National Accord (GNA), the United Nations Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, calls for a cessation to the fighting.

As the crisis in Libya ravages on, with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) pushing on with his campaign in Tripoli, which has already claimed the lives of hundreds of people, the United Nations’ (UN) Libya Envoy, Ghassan Salame, has expressed concern about the ongoing fighting in Tripoli and the division within the international community about Libya.

“I hope everyone will realize that peace is better than fighting because there is no winner and the only loser is the country,” said Salame during his press conference with the Italian Foreign Minister, Enzo Moavero Milanesi in Rome.

Salame also said it is possible to deescalate in Libya but “we need to stop the influx of new weapons and avoid any direct interventions by certain countries.” He added that he wanted to see the warring sides come together to organise national elections.

Salame arrived in Italy to enlist support from Libya’s former colonial power for a possible ceasefire and said that he had made positive contact with the main warring parties without elaborating on the nature of these contacts. Meanwhile, the Italian Foreign Minister stated that he has already written to the European Union (EU) asking it to be prepared to deal with a possible flight of refugees.

Meanwhile, the situation is worsening by the day for Libyan civilians. While the UN has evacuated 675 people from the fierce fighting and violence, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson, Babar Baloch, says that thousands of refugees and migrants are believed trapped in State-run detention centres south of the capital. The number of those currently trapped is around 6000 according to his figures. Additionally, a number of health facilities, including ambulances have been badly damaged by the fighting in Tripoli, in contravention of international humanitarian law.

With clashes continuing between the LNA and GNA, civilians continue to be affected the most by the crisis.