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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

UAE Condemns Violence in Libya, Urges End to Military Operations

A car burns in the street during clashes in Tripoli, Libya August 27, 2022. (Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates condemned on Sunday the violence in Libya and called on all parties to immediately halt military operations, preserve the safety of civilians, government headquarters, and property, and exercise the utmost restraint to end the current crisis.

The UAE urged parties to set aside division, restore calm and serious dialogue, and prioritize the national interest to restore security and stability in Libya, reported the state news agency WAM.

The UAE reiterated its stance calling for a solution to the conflict in Libya and its full support for all that preserves the security, stability, and unity of the country in accordance with the roadmap outcomes, Security Council resolutions, and the ceasefire agreement.

This will ensure the success of elections and realize the aspirations of the Libyan people for development, stability and prosperity.

Deadly clashes broke out Saturday in Libya's capital between militias backed by its two rival administrations, portending a return to violence amid a long political stalemate.

At least 23 people were killed and 140 more wounded, the Health Ministry said. It added that 64 families were evacuated from areas around the fighting.

The escalation threatens to shatter the relative calm Libya has enjoyed for most of the past two years.

The municipal council of Tripoli blamed the ruling political class for the deteriorating situation in the capital, and urged the international community to “protect civilians in Libya.”

The UN mission in Libya said the fighting involved “indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighborhoods” of Tripoli.

The mission called for an immediate ceasefire, and for all parties in Libya to “refrain from using any form of hate speech and incitement to violence.”

The clashes pitted the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade militia, led by Haitham Tajouri, against another militia allied with Abdel-Ghani al-Kikli, an infamous warlord known as “Gheniwa,” according to local media. Later on Saturday, more militias joined the fighting which spread in different areas in the capital.

Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah’s government, which is based in Tripoli, claimed the clashes broke out when one militia fired at another.

The fighting, however, is highly likely part of ongoing power struggle between Dbeibah and his rival Prime Minister Fathy Bashagha who is operating from the coast city of Sirte.

Both Dbeibah and Bashagha are backed by militias, and the latter was mobilizing in recent weeks to try to enter Tripoli to dislodge his rival.

An attempt in May by Bashagha to install his government in Tripoli triggered clashes that ended with his withdrawal from the capital.

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