France calls for unconditional ceasefire in Libya


[Photo courtesy: Anadlu Agency]
France has called for an unconditional ceasefire in Libya following a meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and United Nations-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

The fighting in Libya has pit strongman Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, against the UN-backed government in a bid to take control of Tripoli.

According to the UN, the fighting has killed close to 350 people and wounded over 1,650 others.

In a statement released on Wednesday, France said the ceasefire should be implemented under international supervision.

“Noting that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict, and to put an end to the military offensive launched towards Tripoli, the President of the Republic encouraged an unconditional ceasefire,” the French Presidency said in a statement.

“He stressed the need to protect civilian populations. In this context, the proposal was put forward to delimit a ceasefire line, under international supervision.”

The fighting has raised fears that the country will lose all gains achieved in previous talks that were meant to pacify the North African country and lead to elections.

Libya has been without a unified government since the 2011 ouster and killing of former long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s death created a governance void that led to the rise of militant and human trafficking groups in Libya.

Since the latest escalation of violence in and around Tripoli, the international community has made pleas for dialogue as a way of avoiding more killings.

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