UN condemns military escalation in south of Libya’s Tripoli
TRIPOLI, JAN 16 — The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Wednesday condemned military escalation in the south of the capital Tripoli between forces allied with the government and an armed group.
“The UNSMIL strongly condemns the recent military mobilization of forces in southern Tripoli and is monitoring the situation closely,” the UNSMIL said in a statement.
It also warned the warring factions against breach of the cease-fire agreement concluded in September 2018, saying the escalation “compromises stability in the capital and … endangers the lives of civilians and their properties.”
The UN mission pledged to take necessary action and explore all available measures to deter such events.
Earlier in the day, the Tripoli security force of the Interior Ministry said it responded to a military attack southern Tripoli.
Residents said heavy gunfire and explosions could be heard in the area, as many civilians had fled the conflict area.
The armed group Seventh Brigade on Tuesday warned the UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj against “military escalation” in southern Tripoli.
Serraj should “restrain armed militias and force them to implement the agreed security arrangements,” it said.
In August 2018, violent clashes broke out in southern Tripoli between forces allied with the government and the Seventh Brigade militia, killing 117 and injuring more than 500 others, mostly civilians.
The clashes ended with the warring parties signing a UN-sponsored cease-fire agreement, after which the government approved new security arrangements in Tripoli that focus on replacing armed groups with regular police and security forces.
Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country has been suffering escalating violence and chaos, as well as political division – XINHUA