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Libya UN-backed gov’t accuses Haftar forces of recruiting children

April 11, 2019 at 11:09 am

Libyan General Khalifa Haftar [KalifaHaftar/Twitter]

Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has accused forces loyal to rival retired General Khalifa Haftar of recruiting children as fighters in their attack against the capital, Tripoli.

GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said in a statement yesterday that the children were seen fighting as “mercenaries” among Haftar army forces during their attack on Tripoli.

The Libyan minister described the attack on Tripoli as “illegal”.

He stressed that the attacking forces must immediately withdraw, warning that if they do not “there would be no choice but to confront them with all force and firmness and without hesitation”.

GNA Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Sayala sent a letter to the UN Security Council on Tuesday in which he confirmed that children had been recruited as mercenaries by Haftar’s forces in their attack on Tripoli.

The Libyan minister called for swift intervention and for measures to be taken to “stop the aggression, deter the perpetrators, and impose a return to the peaceful path to resolve the crisis”.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also warned on Tuesday that nearly half a million children were at immediate risk due to the fighting in Tripoli.

READ: National Accord Government regains control of four sites in Tripoli; Haftar promises ‘surprise’