Conflicts & War

UN calls for ceasefire after 32 killed in Libya clashes

Tripoli, Aug 28 (EFE).- The United Nations on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire following a day of intense fighting in Libya’s capital Tripoli.

Warring militias have been fighting on the streets of Tripoli since Friday night with at least 32 people killed and over 100 hospitalized due to their injuries, the health ministry reported.

Authorities confirmed the death of Mustafa Baraka, a young Libyan comedian who had a broad online following. Baraka was killed while doing live broadcasts of the clashes.

UN chief Antonio Guterres urged “the Libyan parties to engage in a genuine dialogue to address the ongoing political impasse and not to use force to resolve their differences,” a statement by Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary-general, read.

“He further calls on the parties to protect civilians and refrain from taking any actions that could escalate tensions and deepen divisions,” Dujarric said.

Downtown Tripoli became a battlefield on Saturday prompting the evacuation of dozens of families from residential areas.

There have been reports of damage to hospitals and civilian buildings during deadly clashes between warring political factions.

The fighting calmed down somewhat on Sunday after forces sympathetic to the UN-backed Government of National Unity (GNU), based in Tripoli, pushed back loyalists of Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed prime minister in February in the eastern parliament based in Tobruk.

Tensions have simmered ever since Bashaga was elected in the eastern parliament that is backed by strongman Khalifa Haftar.

GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who has the backing of Western powers, has so far refused to cede power to Bashaga.

The emergence of two governments making claims to power has sparked concerns of instability in Libya, which has already witnessed two civil wars since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated in 2011.EFE


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