UN Postpones Libya National Conference Amid Raging Clashes

North Africa

Due to the ongoing clashes between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, the UN announced that the Libyan national conference, set to take place soon, has now been postponed.

The United Nations announced on Tuesday the postponement of the Libyan national conference as the Libyan National Army (LNA) continued its operation against the capital Tripoli against terrorist and criminal gangs.

“We cannot ask people to take part in the conference during gunfire and air strikes,” UN envoy Ghassan Salame said.

He expressed hope that the meeting, which had been scheduled for next week, would take place “as soon as possible”.

The move came as the North African country’s warring parties faced mounting international pressure to halt violence that has caused thousands to flee and left several dozen people dead.

Earlier, the UN’s health body said local facilities had reported 47 people killed and 181 wounded in clashes between Khalifa Haftar’s LNA and militias countering its advance on the capital.

The UN agency warned that the renewed fighting could deplete medical supplies.

Separately, night flights will resume at the capital’s Mitiga airport following a brief closure prompted Monday by LNA air strikes, said the national carrier, Libyan Airlines.

LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said the strike targeted a MiG-23 military plane and a helicopter.

A security source at the airport said the strike hit a runway without causing casualties.

A spokesman for national carrier said that the first flights from the facility will fly in passengers who were unable to travel due to Monday’s closure.

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Monday appealed for an immediate halt to fighting in Libya, after the air strike on Tripoli’s only functioning airport.

“I make a very strong appeal to Libyan leaders … to stop all military activities… and to return to the negotiation table”, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after talks with EU foreign ministers.

Later Tuesday, Mismari accused the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord of Fayez al-Sarraj of allying itself with terrorist groups.

“Sarraj disqualified himself from the political scene by supporting extremist groups,” he added.

Image: Reuters

Article: Asharq al-Awsat