Libya’s UN-backed Government accuses eastern-based army of killing, arresting civilians in Sirte

Israeli soldiers gather on November 20, 2019 near the settlement Merom Golan in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, seized from Syrian in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. - The Israeli army carried out a

The UN-backed government of Libya on Wednesday accused the rival eastern-based army of killing and arresting civilians in the city of Sirte, some 450 km east of the capital Tripoli.

“The Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord expresses concern over reports from Sirte city documenting attacks on the city’s residents and killing of civilians, such as what happened in other cities after they were controlled by the outlaw militias (eastern-based army),” the UN-backed government said in a statement.

The UN-backed government called on international mediators, mainly the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), to “document these criminal acts and consider them efforts to foil the democratic peaceful settlement to the Libyan crisis.”

A few days ago, UN-backed Prime Minister, Fayez Serraj, and the Speaker of the eastern-based House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, issued statements calling for a cease-fire in the country, reopening of the country’s oilfields and ports, holding elections, and making Sirte and Jufra district demilitarized zone.

However, the eastern-based army said that Serra’s initiative is merely “media marketing,” accusing the UN-backed government of preparing to attack its units in Sirte.

The UN-backed government also condemned Tuesday’s halting of the elections in the southern town of Traghen, some 780 km south of the capital Tripoli, by an armed group affiliated to the eastern-based army.

UNSMIL on Tuesday said it was dismayed by the halting of the scheduled elections in Traghen, and reminded all parties in Libya of their obligations to act in accordance with international law and called on them to protect democratic processes across the country.

The UN-backed government had been engaged in a deadly armed conflict against the eastern-based army, which is allied with the eastern-based House of Representatives, for more than a year over control of the capital Tripoli, before his government recently took over all of western Libya.


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