NEW YORK – The UN Security Council has called on the parties to the conflict in Libya to halt military activities in the context of a further escalation of tension in the African country.
“The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern at the military activity in Tripoli which risks Libyan stability and prospects for the UN mediation and the comprehensive political solution to the crisis. They called on LNA forces to halt all military movements. They also called on all forces to de-escalate and halt military activity. There can be no military solution to the conflict,” Heusgen read out the statement on the results of the UNSC consultations on Libya, as part of Germany’s presidency of the UNSC.
“They expressed their intention to hold those responsible for further conflict accountable. They reiterated their full support for the secretary general and his special representative and called on all parties to resume dialogue and deliver on their commitments to engage constructively with the UN political process,” Heusgen pointed out.
The Libyan National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has taken control of several areas in the south-west of the country’s capital.
Haftar’s offensive refers to the Government of the National Accord, led by Fayez al-Sarraj and trained with the support of the UN and the European Union.
Russia, which has provided Haftar with backing in the past, claimed it was not helping the commander’s forces in the offensive and that it supported a negotiated political settlement that ruled out any new bloodshed.
Haftar traveled to Moscow twice in 2016 seeking political support. The Financial Times has reported that Russia has helped the administration Haftar has set up in eastern Libya issue a parallel currency, a pointed challenge to the Tripoli-based central government.
Russian officials sharply criticized U.S. and European actions that preceded Qaddafi’s ouster and blamed the West for the chaos that engulfed Libya.
With Dmitry Medvedev as president, Russia abstained from the vote on the UN Security Council resolution that allowed air strikes by NATO forces in 2011, but Vladimir Putin — then prime minister — likened it to “medieval calls for crusades.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told news agencies on April 5 that Moscow was monitoring the situation.
Kibya has been torn apart by internal conflicts since the death of leader Muammar Khaddafi in 2011. The eastern part of the country is governed by parliament, supported by the Libyan National Army and located in Tobruk. The Government of the National Agreement, supported by the UN and led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, operates in the west of the country and is based in Tripoli.