Libya UN backed government calls for international help to end fighting

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online photo
online photo

The Unity government in Libya has called for the international community to give ‘urgent intervention’ to end military escalation in its south, reports AFP.

“We ask you to take a firm and decisive stance with regards to this escalation and we will support all decisions to re-establish security and stability in Libya,” GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj wrote in a letter published Saturday addressed to bodies including the European Union, the United Nations and the Arab League.

Security forces allied to the UN backed government of national accord have battled militias trying to overtake an airbase in the South of Libya.

“This sudden and unjustified escalation… puts the country on the brink of civil war”, Sarraj said.

Clashes erupted last week after the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army loyal to Libya’s eastern authorities started the battle to seize the Tamenhant air base from militias backing the UN backed government.

The militia said the Tamenhant base was a launching pad for fighters who seized key oil terminals from its control last month, before the they retook them days later. But the unity government has denied any link with the attacks on the oil facilities in Libya’s northeast.

The united government was born of a UN-brokered deal signed in late 2015, and has struggled to assert its authority nationwide since taking office in Tripoli in March last year.

Libya has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Moamer Kadhafi, with rival militias and authorities vying for control of the oil-rich country.