Libyan conflict is creating divisions in the Gulf and Europe

File AFP

LIBYA (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Qatar on Tuesday called for a halt to arms supplies from abroad to Khalifa Haftar, commander of the forces of eastern Libya, the Libyan National Army, whose campaign to control the capital has raised differences in the Gulf and Europe.

Nearly two weeks after the start of the Libyan National Army’s offensive against Tripoli, its forces are still stuck on its southern outskirts where armed groups loyal to the internationally recognized government of Tripoli are facing.

Tripoli’s population of some 2.5 million people seems to be living almost normal, despite the occasional artillery bombardment of the city.

“We all continue our lives, thank God,” said Mohamed Taha, 23, who was on a street near a school crammed with students. What else can we do? ” Cafés and shops are still open and crowded with customers.

Foreign powers are wary but unable to adopt a united stance on the latest renewal of political chaos and fighting that engulfed Libya after the ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The conflict has so far killed 174 people, injured 756 others, displaced 18,250, according to the latest UN statistics, and delayed an international peace plan.

The conflict also threatens to disrupt oil supplies, increase the number of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe and allow militants to exploit the chaos.

Qatar said the existing UN arms embargo on Libya should be tightened to prevent the 75-year-old from receiving weapons.

Haftar, who is based in Benghazi, is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. They see it as capable of restoring stability in the country and confronting Islamic militants. The three countries severed ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing them of backing militants and Iran.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani told Italy’s La Repubblica daily that another date should be set for the UN peace conference in Libya, which was postponed, and forcing Hafar’s forces to withdraw.

He added that the arms embargo should be implemented “to prevent those countries that supply (Haftar) with ammunition and the latest weapons from continuing to do so.”

According to previous reports of the United Nations that the UAE and Egypt extended Hafter arms and aircraft, which gave him aerial superiority over the various Libyan factions. The authorities in eastern Libya say that Qatar and Turkey support rival factions tend to Islamists in western Libya.

– Differences between France and Italy because of Haftar –

Similar to diplomatic differences in the Gulf, there are differences in Europe between Italy, the former colony of Libya and France.

Paris has already supported Hafer as his best bet to end the chaos that has engulfed Libya since an uprising supported by NATO to end Gaddafi’s bloody four-decade rule.

Italy, which has major oil interests in OPEC member Libya, supports the Tripoli government headed by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj. She expressed anger at France’s unwillingness to support a recent European Union resolution calling for Hafer to halt its advance.

But Al-Sarraj succeeded in curbing the Libyan national army. This is largely due to the support of armed groups for his support. These groups belong to other factions in western Libya.

Although Hafez presents himself as a warrior for what he calls terrorism, his opponents see him as a potential dictator like Qaddafi. About 70 people protested against a hole in Algiers Square in central Tripoli on Tuesday.

“We are against Hafar and the military government,” one demonstrator said.

He was one of the officers who helped Gaddafi gain power in 1969, but disagreed with him during a war with Chad in the 1980s. He was jailed by the Chadian, but the CIA rescued him and lived in Virginia for about 20 years before returning to Libya in 2011 to join the rest of the rebels in the uprising against Gaddafi.

The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday 6,900 migrants remained in government detention centers in Tripoli despite efforts to move some of them to safer places.

The migrants, mostly from Africa and Syria, were detained after arriving in Libya from the Sahel with the aim of crossing the Mediterranean and reaching Italy and other countries.

Joel Millman, a spokesman for the organization in Geneva, said on Tuesday that some of the detainees at a location close to the scene of the clashes refused to transport them and demanded a permanent solution to their plight.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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