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Senior Zintan leader asks Ghannouchi to mediate a ceasefire in Tripoli

July 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Head of Libya’s Al-Qimmah Party and a prominent Zintan Brigade leader, Abdullah Naker said he called the head of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Rashid Ghannouchi and asked him to mediate a ceasefire around the Tripoli International Airport, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Naker told Anadolu: “We have confidence in this man, therefore we asked him to mediate a real ceasefire agreement and we reiterate our calls to save the Libyans blood. No one can win this battle because those who die every day are the Libyans,” adding “we are defending ourselves at the airport and cannot understand all of this hostility against us. Arms and force will not solve our problems today. Only unity can solve Libya’s problems.”

Naker pointed out that his brigades hope to clear Libya from the weapons and to allow the Libyans to express their differences in the squares and fields peacefully and without fighting. He said: “the forces attacking the Sawa’eq and Al-Qaqa’a battalions accuse them of allying with the renegade General Khalifa Haftar which is untrue. We have no relationship with Haftar. We are against terrorism and with the construction of the Libyan state.”

A source close to Ghannouchi’s office confirmed that Naker had indeed requested his mediation. The source, who requested anonymity, told Anadolu: “We are examining the possibilities of reconciling the Libyan brothers.”

The Libyan capital, Tripoli witnessed on Sunday the most violent clashes since the start of the fighting between the Libyan Revolutionaries joint Operation Room from the city of Misrata, northwest, against the Al-Qaqa’a, Sawa’eq and Madani battalions from the town of Zintan who took control of the airport since the overthrow of the former regime of late Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Libyan Ministry of Health announced that 47 were killed and 120 were injured during clashes between the warring battalions for the control of the airport.

On Thursday, Libya closed its airspace, excluding the eastern region during the day, due to the difficulty to control air traffic.

The clashes led to the destruction of the aircrafts parked at the airport and prompted the United Nations to withdraw its employees.

On the same day, the Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdel Aziz asked the UN Security Council approve the deployment of an international mission to stabilise and rebuild the institutions in his country.