Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame has described the ongoing conflict in Libya as “selfish and useless,” urging the international community to intervene to stop the escalations.
“We encourage Italy and all UN member states to push for ceasefire and return to dialogue. We need collective efforts to end this selfish and useless conflict. Should the situation deteriorate significantly, they will bear the consequences, in addition to the Libyan people and much broader sectors and interests,” Salame said in a Tuesday interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Regarding the National Libyan Forum, Salame explained that holding it is still a necessity on the long term.
“In the long run, the Conference remains essential. Its logistical preparations are now complete. No individual can subvert the popular will of the Libyans. And the Libyan people have expressed themselves clearly: it requires the end of the transition period, wants to live in peace, asks for a civil state governed by the law. The Conference is the road to these goals,” Salame said.
More than 254 people have died during the Libyan fighting during the past two weeks, when Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar decided to start a military operation in Tripoli against the UN-backed government lead by Faiez al-Sarraj.
Thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes, according to the World Health Organization, and the National Libyan Forum, which was anticipated on April 14, was delayed until further notice.