Violence in Libya Disrupts Election to Council of Representatives - UN Envoy
UNITED NATIONS, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - The armed clashes in Tripoli and its international airport as well as violent acts all over Libya jeopardized the June 25 election, UN's envoy to Libya Tarek Mitri told the Security Council on Thursday.
"In the East, there has been a marked escalation of confrontation," Mitri said, specifying that "Benghazi's international airport has been repeatedly shelled and is non-operational," and the fighting "cast a shadow over the election on 25 June of the 200 member Council of Representatives."
Mitri said only forty percent of the 1.5 million registered Libyans went to the polls on election day. The envoy added 'there was no polling in the eastern city of Derna,' and '24 centers across the country were impacted by acts of violence, notably, Sabha, Zawiya, Sirte and Awbari,' wich leaves 12 seats in the Council of Representatives vacant.
Given this deteriorating situation, the UN decided "to reduce and ultimately withdraw the international staff in the country," Mitri told the Security Council via video from Beirut, Lebanon ahead of the final results expected on July 20.
On Tuesday, Libyan government announced it is looking into the possibility to ask international forces for help in restoring security in the country, following earlier reports that Libya's main airport in Tripoli came under another rocket attack with dozens of rockets fired at the site destroying 90 percent of planes and killing at least two Libyan soldiers.
Armed groups of former rebels are currently operating in Tripoli taking over the whole districts, where they establish their own rules. The militants possess a large arsenal of weapons, including heavy warfare that was seized from the government forces during the uprising in 2011.
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