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UN fears eruption of civil war in Libya

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres holds a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on August 01, 2019 [Atılgan Özdil / Anadolu Agency]
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres holds a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on August 01, 2019 [Atılgan Özdil / Anadolu Agency]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that ongoing conflict in Libya could result in a full-scale civil war unless efforts are made to end the conflict.

In his latest report on the UN Support Mission in Libya on Thursday, Guterres said that “unless action is taken in the near term, it is highly likely that the current conflict will escalate into full civil war”.

“I urge all parties to stop using explosive weapons, including by aerial bombardment or shelling, in populated areas because of their likely indiscriminate effects,” the secretary-general said.

“A political solution to the Libyan conflict requires the full and united support of the international community,” Guterres stressed.

Libya: 17 Haftar fighters surrender to Tripoli government

The secretary-general added: “I am concerned by the presence of foreign fighters and mercenaries being employed by parties to the conflict in Libya, as well as by the influx of weapons to the country,” calling for strict adherence to the arms embargo which as been in place since 2011.

He stressed the need for the international community to work towards finding a political solution for the country, where forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take Libyan capital Tripoli from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in early April.

According to Al Jazeera, fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli has killed about 1,000 people and displaced more than 100,000 since the start of Haftar’s offensive.

Read: US calls for ‘a political solution’ in Libya

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