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UN mission in Libya condemns attack on Sebha court

TRIPOLI, LIBYA - NOVEMBER 15: People gather to protest against the candidacy application of Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, for upcoming presidential election in Tripoli, Libya on November 15, 2021. ( Hamza Alahmar - Anadolu Agency )
People gather to protest against the candidacy application of Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, for upcoming presidential election in Tripoli, Libya on November 15, 2021. [Hamza Alahmar - Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations mission in Libya, on Friday, condemned an attack on a court in the south-western city of Sebha, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"Alarmed by" the reported attack on the Sebha court of appeal on Thursday, the UN Support Mission (UNSML) said it "strongly condemns any form of electoral-related violence and reiterates that the electoral process must be protected."

The mission said that "attacks against judicial or election facilities or judicial or elections personnel are not only criminal acts punishable under Libyan law, but also undermine Libyans' right to participate in the political process."

It stressed the importance of protecting the electoral process, reiterating its call for transparent, fair and inclusive elections slated for 24 December as set out in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum roadmap of and relevant UN Security Council resolution.

READ: Why is Libya's presidential race so overcrowded?

On Thursday, an armed group affiliated with renegade General Khalifa Haftar's militia stormed the Sebha court to disrupt the appeal process that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi's lawyer intends to lodge, after opening the door for appeals to those who were disqualified from the presidential race, according to a security source.

Nearly 100 candidates have registered to run for president in Libya's 24 December elections, including Haftar, transitional Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, and Saif Al-Islam, the son of former strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, who was disqualified Wednesday by a Libyan court over committing war crimes.

The presidential and parliamentary elections are set to take place under an UN-sponsored agreement reached by Libyan political rivals last November.

The application deadline for those wishing to run for president was 22 November. Nominations for parliamentary polls remain open through 7 December.

Libyans hope that the upcoming elections will help end the armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country for years.

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