UN calls for humanitarian truce in Libyan fighting and is ignored

Fighters loyal to Libya's Government of National Accord have launched a counter-attack to defend Tripoli

. AFP/Mahmud TURKIA

Fighters loyal to Libya's Government of National Accord have launched a counter-attack to defend Tripoli . AFP/Mahmud TURKIA

There appears to be no desire on the part of the belligerents to heed the UN’s Ramadan call.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has called for a one-week humanitarian truce to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in accordance with the spirit of this month as well as the Human Rights Convention, during which all parties pledge to halt all forms of military operations, including reconnaissance, shelling, sniper operations, and mobilisation of forces.

It also called on all parties to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need and to ensure the freedom of movement for civilians during this truce, the Libya Herald reported.

However, there appears to be no desire on the part of the belligerents to heed the UN’s Ramadan call.

Only hours after the UN’s appeal, renegade general Khalifa Hafter and his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) – who started the conflict against forces loyal to the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) by moving from the east of the country and invading the capital Tripoli over a month ago to allegedly “rid the capital of terrorists” – called on his armed followers to teach the unity government an “even harder lesson”.

After the LNA launched its assault on Tripoli in a bid for territorial control, the GNA launched a counter-offensive against the LNA, leading to a stalemate on the southern outskirts of the capital.

Hafter, who supports the opposing House of Representatives (HoR) government based in Tobruk, advised his forces to not only to teach opposing troops a lesson but to prevent them from fleeing and to “wipe them out”.

Since April 4, fighting between the LNA and forces backing the GNA has killed at least 432 people, wounded 2,069 and displaced more than 50,000, according to the UN.

The North African country has been in a state of chaos since the long-time leader Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 with Western intervention. Haftar is backed by the US, France, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.

– African News Agency

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