UN Mission in Libya: We have received reports of violations of the Eid al-Adha truce

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it had received reports of violations of the truce called for during the Eid al-Adha holiday.

The mission said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday that despite the marked decrease in violence during the lull, the mission had received reports of violations.

The statement pointed out that the breaches are the injury of Salah al-Din area in Tripoli by tank fire and artillery and the firing of three Grad rockets indiscriminately from south of Tripoli towards Mitiga airport; Residential buildings in the neighboring neighborhood, wounding four civilians.

According to the same statement, tank and artillery fire hit the area of ​​Kzirma, north of Tripoli International Airport, and skirmishes took place in the areas of the spring and Salah al-Din in the capital and continued drone reconnaissance flights over the city of Misrata (east of Tripoli).

The UN mission did not specify who was responsible for the violations, but all of the targets and areas are under the control of the internationally recognized government of al-Wefaq forces, which for months have been repelling attacks by retired Major General Khalifa Hifter on the capital and its environs.
The Mission reiterated that indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas could constitute a war crime.

The truce was not respected in Murzuq (south), where community violence between Tabu communities and residents continued, killing seven people and wounding 54 others.The mission received ongoing reports of burning houses, looting and other reprisal attacks.

As of 12 August, the continuing violence in Murzuq had displaced more than 5,000 people.

The UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salameh, expressed the mission’s readiness to help facilitate the exchange of prisoners, in addition to his willingness to nominate a focal point and propose a mechanism for such exchanges in cooperation with the parties and local community leaders.

Salameh said the mission wanted to use its good offices immediately to turn what had been achieved during the lull in a permanent ceasefire.

The mission welcomed the declarations by the international community in support of the truce and renewed the Special Representative’s proposal for a meeting of the countries concerned.

The international community should work to provide guarantees for a permanent ceasefire, call for compliance with the arms embargo and commit to returning in good faith to a comprehensive UN-sponsored political process to end the conflict in Libya, she said.

On 29 July, the head of the UN mission in Libya, Ghassan Salameh, called during a briefing to the UN Security Council to “establish a truce on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, beginning on 10 August, accompanied by confidence-building measures including the exchange of prisoners and the death of the dead.”

The Wefaq government and Hifter agreed to the truce, but Hefter’s forces accused Hifter of violating it several times over the past few days.

Since April 4, Hifter’s forces have launched a faltering offensive to control Tripoli, the seat of the Wefaq government, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring more than 5,500, according to the World Health Organization.

Since 2011, the oil-rich country has suffered from an armed struggle for legitimacy and power, currently centered between the Wefaq government and Hifter.

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