The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) denounced on Saturday the “continuing flagrant violations” of the arms embargo in that North African country despite the agreement signed at the Berlin international conference last January 19.
The UN “deeply regrets the continuing flagrant violations of the arms embargo in Libya, even after the commitments made in this regard by the countries interested” in the German capital, adds a statement from the international mission.
UNSMIL recalls that the January 12 truce agreed by the Government of the National Agreement (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), which led to the notable reduction of hostilities in Tripoli, “has provided a much-needed respite for civilians From the capital”.
He adds, however, that this “fragile truce is now threatened by the continuous transfer of foreign combatants, weapons, ammunition and advanced systems to the parties by the Member States, including several who participated in the Berlin Conference.”
The UN mission denounces that the last ten days “numerous cargo flights and other flights have been observed landing at Libyan airports in the western and eastern parts of the country providing advanced weapons, armored vehicles, advisers and combatants to the parties.”
The UN condemns those violations “that run the risk of plunging the country into a renewed and intensified round of fighting.”
The fighting continued in Libya on Friday when at least one Moroccan citizen died and three Libyans were injured in an attack attributed to forces under the command of Marshal Jalifa Hafter to the Maitiga air base, the only operating airport in Tripoli, where it seems the most serious violation to date of the ceasefire agreed two weeks ago with the mediation of Russia and Turkey.
“The mortal victim is a base operator and the injured, who have been transferred to a hospital, are a father and their two children. They were hit by the impact of rockets,” he told Efe Amin al Hashemim, Health Advisor at the Government of National Agreement supported by the UN in Tripoli (GNA).
General Ahmad abu Shahma, director of the joint command of the “Operation Volcano of Wrath”, which leads the defense of the capital, stressed, for his part, that this is the most serious but not the only violation of the ceasefire committed by the marshal’s troops in the last hours.
According to his account, forces of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) attacked a field hospital and several military positions outside the capital on Friday night, under siege by the eastern troops for more than ten months.
The civil war in Libya broke out in 2015 and intensified in April of last year, when Hafter, a strong man from the country, surrounded the capital to take it away from the GNA and its ally the city state of Misrata.
The marshal is backed by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, while France and the US support him politically.
The GNA, led by Fayez Al Serraj, is supported, in turn, politically and financially by the EU, the UN, Italy and Qatar and also receives military support from Turkey.
Since ten months ago the fighting intensified, more than 1,500 people have died – 300 of them civilians – and more than 140,000 have been forced to leave their homes and become internally displaced.
A week ago, several of the international powers and neighboring countries such as Egypt and Algeria met in Berlin at an international conference whose objective was to find ways to guarantee the ceasefire and resume the peace process under the auspices of the UN.