Tunisia yesterday called for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, pressing all parties to seek a “peaceful and consensual solution”.
“In light of the serious military escalation that Libya has been witnessing, especially in the vicinity of the capital Tripoli, the Republic of Tunisia calls for an immediate halt to the fighting,” a statement by the country’s foreign ministry read.
The ministry urged all parties “to resort to dialogue in order to prevent more suffering by the Libyan people.”
“The Libyan rival parties must maintain a political track under the auspices of the United Nations to restore the security and stability of Libya,” the ministry added.
On Thursday, Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, launched a military operation to capture Tripoli from the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces. According to the GNA’s health ministry, at least 32 people have been killed and 50 injured since the start of the military campaign.
The military escalation comes as the United Nations (UN) prepares for a national reconciliation conference on 14-16 April in the southern Libyan city of Ghadames, as part of an international effort to resolve the years-long conflict in the oil-rich Arab country.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.
Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and the internationally back government in Tripoli, led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.