UN concerned with mobilization in Libya, urges all parties to "abide by law"
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged all parties in Libya to abide by their moral and legal obligations in order to protect civilians in the North African country.
Ban’s Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Saturday that the UN chief is “deeply concerned by recent developments in Libya, in particular the growing military mobilization in and around the capital Tripoli.”
“Armed confrontation risks negating the sacrifices made by the Libyan people during their struggle for freedom and human dignity, particularly at this critical juncture in the political transition process,” Dujarric quoted ban as saying in reference to a revolution that led to the fall of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Ban urged all parties in Libya to refrain from acts that undermine the democratic transition, and also to resume dialogue.
The development came after retired General Khalifa Haftar said the Libyans who rallied in his support in Benghazi and Tripoli on Friday have given him a “mandate” to crush militants in the country.
Haftar has launched a military offensive in the country’s east, saying that he wants to crush the militants and to establish stability in Libya. Haftar’s campaign has drawn support from certain high-ranking officials, military officers and soldiers. The head of Libya’s navy, General Hassan Abu-Shannaq, has expressed his support for the operations by Haftar’s loyalists.
Haftar’s forces took over Libya’s General National Congress building earlier this week, provoking rival militant groups to dispatch their forces to the capital.
Libyan authorities have accused Haftar of trying to mount a coup.
Nearly three years after the fall of Gaddafi, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups that refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.