NATO, UNSMIL reject military solution in Libya amid Tripoli’s escalating war

Amid the aggravated situation in Tripoli which has killed, wounded and displaced thousands of residents, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and NATO said Monday that military operations cannot be a solution for Libyan crisis.

In a Sunday meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, UNSMIL envoy Ghassan Salame and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, discussed the security situation in Libya.

Stoltenberg expressed the alliance’s deep concern about the conditions in Libya, urging the rival parties, head of UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) Faiez al-Sarraj and General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar, to end the fighting and join again the political process.

The war between the eastern and western rivals has killed thus far 454 people and wounded 2154, including civilians and ambulance workers in addition to the destruction brought about on infrastructure, including schools, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Commenting on the increasing number of people killed and wounded everyday in Libya, NATO Secretary General emphasized that the suffering of the Libyan people has been on the rise since the beginning of the war on 4 April.

“All parties should return immediately to the negotiations table and reach a political solution of which could ease the Libyans suffering in Tripoli,” he said.

NATO has declared full support to the efforts of the UNSMIL to broker a truce, reach a political solution in Libya and resume the negotiations among the parties.

During the 2011 uprising, the NATO intervened in the conflict between the Muammar Gaddafi regime supporters and the Libyan opposition.
The cause of the intervention was declared to be the protection of civilians and prevent massacres.

“NATO is prepared to help Libya build effective security institutions, including a modern Ministry of Defence and effective security services under the civilian control of the government. This would be done at the request of the Libyan government and only when the security conditions allow it,” according to NATO’s statement, quoting Stoltenberg.

On the sidelines of his visit to Brussels, Salame also briefed the North Atlantic Council and the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which reiterated their rejection to the military solution in Libya, on the crisis in Libya.

In a meeting with the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Committee, he warned of alarming violations of the arms embargo and international humanitarian law during the conflict, urging those in violation to be held accountable and calling them for an immediate cessation of hostilities.


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