A fighter of the UN-recognized Libyan government gestures on a pickup truck in the Abu Qurain area about 300 kilometers east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, July 20, 2020.
A fighter of the UN-recognized Libyan government gestures on a pickup truck in the Abu Qurain area about 300 kilometers east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, July 20, 2020. The United Nations is concerned about the military buildup around the northern Libyan port city of Sirte and its potential impact on the civilian population, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Monday. Forces of the UN-recognized Libyan government and the east-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar were fighting for the control of Sirte. The LNA had to retreat from Tripoli after its year-long offensive on the capital city faltered. (Photo by Hamza Turkia/Xinhua)

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Saturday stressed the need for an inclusive return to the political process in the country.

“Libya is witnessing a dramatic turn of events that underlines the urgent need to return to a full and inclusive political process that will meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for representative government, dignity, and peace,” the UN body said in a statement. It urged calm, the application of the rule of law and the preservation of the rights of all citizens to peacefully express their views.

“Across Libya, UNSMIL is registering an increase in reports of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and detention, restrictions placed on freedom of movement and expression, as well as on the right of peaceful assembly and protest,” the mission said. The UNSMIL expressed concern about the excessive use of force in the capital Tripoli against demonstrators, as well as the arbitrary arrest of a number of civilians.

The mission also voiced concern about reports of ongoing human rights violations and abuses in the city of Sirte, some 450 km east of Tripoli, which include killing of a civilian, the arbitrary arrest of several others, and the illegal forced entry into private properties. “The prolific use of hate speech and incitement to violence appears designed to further divide Libyans, increase polarization and tear at the country’s social fabric at the expense of a Libyan-Libyan solution,” the mission warned.

Libya has been plagued by escalating violence and political instability ever since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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