African Union calls for ceasefire and end to external interference in Libya

Smoke rises during a fight between members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces and Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ayman al-Sahili
Smoke rises during a fight between members of the Libyan UN-backed government forces and Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ayman al-Sahili

The African Union demanded an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Libya and strongly urged warring parties to resume dialogue in a bid to find a sustainable solution to the current challenges facing the country.

The AU, through its Peace and Security Council, also demanded an immediate end to external interference in the internal affairs of Libya through the supply of weapons and other forms of military assistance to the warring parties.

The AU also called on warring parties to protect civilians, create safe passage and facilitate humanitarian access to the population in need.

The AU further called on stakeholders to facilitate the repatriation of stranded African migrants and appealed to all AU Member States and the international community to continue extending humanitarian support.

Libya was plunged into a fresh crisis after the Libyan National Army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, began a military campaign in early April to take over the capital Tripoli from the UN-backed government.

The fighting has so far killed nearly 400 people, injured almost 2,000 others, and forced more than 50,000 people to flee their homes.

Libya has been suffering from escalating violence and political division ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s administration in 2011.

The AU says an all-inclusive Libyan National Reconciliation Conference is to be convened in Addis Ababa in July as part of efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the current crisis.