Libya's GNA govt. protests at 'untruths' in UN report
Iran Press TV
Thu Aug 1, 2019 03:25PM
The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) has protested at UN envoy Ghassan Salame's latest report to the United Nations Security Council on the ongoing conflict in the North African country.
Fayed al-Sarraj, head of the UN-recognized GNA which is based in Tripoli, summoned Salame on Wednesday "to deliver a protest note over untruths" in his report to the 15-member council.
In a video conference on Monday, Salame raised the alarm over "the increasing frequency of attacks on Mitiga", the Libyan capital's only functioning airport.
"Several of these attacks have come perilously close to hitting civilian aircraft with passengers on board," the envoy stated.
Salame also urged "the authorities in Tripoli to cease using the airport for military purposes and for the attacking forces to halt immediately their targeting of it".
Mitiga has closed several times over the past four months because of a battle for Tripoli between GNA forces and fighters of renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar
Heading a group of militias, Haftar launched an offensive on Tripoli on April 4 to wrest control of the capital, but his armed groups failed to breach the southern defenses of the city.
Since then, the fighting has left at least 1,100 people dead, more than 5,750 wounded, and over 100,000 people displaced, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Haftar's offensive has upended UN-led plans to stabilize Libya after years of conflict that has left the oil-rich nation divided and caused living standards to plummet.
The renegade general has defied a truce call by the UN, ordering his militia not to relent in their offensive.
Last month, Haftar claimed that his forces would "soon" capture the capital Tripoli, even as they have been unable to advance for almost the entire duration of their offensive.
Haftar, who was among the officers who helped former dictator Muammar Gaddafi to power in 1969, lived for some 20 years in the US state of Virginia.
He later returned to Libya in 2011 to join an uprising and a NATO military intervention which ousted Gaddafi.
Gaddafi's ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.
In April, thousands of people took to the streets in the Libyan capital against US President Donald Trump, who branded the self-styled commander's offensive in Tripoli as a "war against terrorism".
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also supported Haftar's offensive against Tripoli's UN-recognized government. France, which also supports Haftar, played the leading role in the military campaign by NATO to oust Gaddafi.
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