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UN investigation into UAE military role in Libya conflict

May 8, 2019 at 3:03 am

UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Libya’s Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, 11 April 2017 []

A secret UN report, seen by Agence France-Presse, revealed on Monday that UN experts are investigating the possibility of Abu Dhabi’s military involvement in the conflict in Libya, for the missiles that had been launched, in April, from Chinese-made uncrewed aircraft, are similar to those owned by the UAE army.

According to the report, the missiles fired from the guided aircraft on the southern suburb of Tripoli on 19 and 20 April, are Blue Arrow air-to-ground missiles, based on fragments studied by UN experts.

Only three countries, China, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates own this type of missiles. This is because these missiles could only be launched by uncrewed aircraft produced by China’s Wing Loong.

“The group of experts is investigating the possible use of variables from the Wing Loong unmanned aircraft by the Libyan National Army led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, or by a third party supporting the Libyan National Army,” the report pointed out.

READ: Uneasy calm in Tripoli on first day of Ramadan

According to the report, it is almost sure that Libya has not obtained these missiles directly from the manufacturing company or China.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are the main supporters of Haftar, who has been waging a military attack since 4 April to take over Tripoli.

The UAE said Libya’s “priority” is to “confront terrorism,” noting that “extremist militias” are still controlling the capital Tripoli.

Reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Libya

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Libya, as Haftar’s forces are continuing their offensive attacks to control Tripoli, which is under the management of the Government of National Accord.

“The priority today is to stop the war,” Faki said in a joint news conference with Guterres in New York, stressing, that “there would be no military solution in such a conflict.”

He added: “The Libyan parties must accept the cessation of hostilities and hold discussions to resolve this crisis in peaceful and political ways.”

READ: UAE supports Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli ‘militias’

For his part, Guterres said that “the message directed to all the Libyans” is the need to reach a “ceasefire”, “stop hostilities” and return to the path of a political solution.

He added that the call for a ceasefire includes a “cessation of the attack” Haftar’s forces are waging on Tripoli.

The United Nations and the African Union have previously called on the two conflicting parties in Libya for a ceasefire or at least commit to a humanitarian truce. However, these calls have not been heard.

It is noted that since the start of Haftar’s attack on Tripoli, at least 432 people have been killed, 2,209 others have been injured and more than 55,000 people have been displaced, according to the United Nations.