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UN calls for vigilance as Libya regains control of Sirte from Daesh

December 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm

The United Nation’s envoy for Libya Martin Kobler has congratulated the Libyan people for reclaiming control of the city of Sirte from Daesh but reminded them to remain “vigilant” in the face of terrorism.

Speaking at a press conference in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, Kobler reiterated that control of Sirte “does not mean the end of terrorism in Libya but represents an important victory.”

The Libyan head of the Presidency Council (PC), Fayez Al-Sarraj, officially announced the liberation of the city of Sirte this weekend although the forces loyal to him proclaimed control of the coastal city earlier this month.

“The war against terrorism in Libya is not over yet,” Al-Sarraj warned, calling on the military forces of the country to unite “into a single army.”

Daesh first seized Sirte in June 2015, defending its stronghold for months by using tactics of urban guerrilla warfare, human shields and antipersonnel mines.

Kobler insisted on the need to defuse the explosive devices left by Deash in Sirte to allow the rapid return of the city’s inhabitants and called on Libyans to seize the opportunity of the city’s liberation to promote national reconciliation.

The Government of National Accord hopes to emerge from the battle of Sirte as an authority at a time when it is still struggling since its appointment in late March in Tripoli. Al-Sarraj remains disputed as a military leader by the parallel authorities based in the east of the country lead by General Khalifa Haftar.