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Libya government calls for halting Haftar attacks in Tripoli

January 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm

People gather to protest against eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar who is based in the east of the country, and in support of the motion authorising the Turkish government to send troops to Libya, in Tripoli, Libya on January 03, 2020 [Hazem Turkia / Anadolu Agency]

Libya’s UN-recognised government on Sunday called for international action to halt attacks by eastern Libyan forces on civilians in the capital Tripoli.

At least 30 students were killed and dozens injured in an airstrike by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, who is based in eastern Libya, on a military school in southern Tripoli early Sunday.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry of the Government of National Accord (GNA) called on the international community to bring Haftar and his accomplices to justice for committing crimes against humanity.

“This brutal, coward act [in Tripoli] shows to the whole world that Haftar’s militias are not fighting terrorism as they claim, but are committing terrorism and violating international humanitarian law,” the ministry said.

According to the statement, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala directed the Libyan Mission to the United Nations to ask for convening an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to condemn Haftar’s crimes in Tripoli.

Erdogan: Turkey to send troops to Libya at Tripoli’s request

In April, Haftar’s forces launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the internationally recognized government.

And on Dec. 12, Haftar announced that he has ordered his militants to launch a “decisive battle” to capture the city.

According to the UN, more than 1,000 people have been killed and at least 5,000 injured since the start of the operation.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya – One in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

The executive and advisory body was formed as part of the Libyan Political Agreement signed December 17, 2015, in Skhirat, Morocco to end the civil war under the guidance of the United Nations.

Read: Arab League warns against deployment of foreign fighters in Libya