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Eastern authority condemns Italy decision to increase troops in Libya

Italian soldiers [Italian Army/Wikipedia]

The eastern based government in Libya has condemned Italy’s decision to send more troops to Libya as a clear violation of Libya’s sovereignty.

The Tobruk based House of Representatives (HoR), which rivals the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord based in the capital Tripoli, released a statement yesterday condemning a vote in Italy’s parliament to deploy more troops in the city of Misrata.

The National Defence and Security Committee of HoR warned Italy of the consequence of “continued violation of the country’s sovereignty” and demanded Italy to explain the vote.

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On Wednesday Italy’s parliament approved the decision to increase its military presence in Libya to 400 soldiers. In September 2016 the Italian government sent 100 soldiers from the parachute regiment to Misrata in order to protect the Italian field hospital which was set up to treat Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos fighters.

The HoR however sees the increase of troops in the country as an attack on its sovereignty. Italy has helped train Libya’s coast guard to be better equipped to deal with the migrant crisis over the last year but has had attempts at establishing a permanent coastal fleet in Libyan waters blasted by those seeing it as an infringement on Libyan sovereignty.

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