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Libya's Haftar defies cease-fire, launches attacks

January 26, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Smoke rises after forces of Khalifa Haftar attacked Tripoli, Libya on 19 January 2020 [Enes Canlı/nadolu Agency]

Libya’s UN-recognized government said that forces of commander Khalifa Haftar had launched attacks in the country’s northwest despite a call for cease-fire, Anadolu Agency reports.

The militias attacked Abu Qurain area, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of the port city of Misrata, said Abdul-Malik Al-Madani, spokesman for the Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation by Libya’s UN-recognized government.

The attacks came despite calls for cease-fire by the Berlin Conference.

Al-Madani said that violent clashes were ongoing in the region which was still under their control and civilian settlements were being shelled.

READ: Did the Berlin Conference on Libya reassure or concern Turkey?

On 12 January, parties in Libya announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by the leaders of Turkey and Russia. But talks for a permanent cease-fire ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.

Haftar’s forces kill migrants in Libya - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Haftar’s forces kill migrants in Libya – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

A week later, Haftar accepted terms in Berlin to designate members to a UN-proposed military commission with five members from each side to monitor the implementation of the cease-fire.

Since the ouster of late ruler 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 the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

READ: Haftar forces threaten to hit civilian planes in Libya