The UN urges Libyan sides to avoid provocations afterwards

On Wednesday, the UN stressed the need to refrain from all provocative acts following clashes in Tripoli recently when the rival government tried to enter the Libyan capital.

UN envoy Stephanie Williams reiterated on Twitter “the critical need to remain calm on the ground under the prevailing circumstances and to avoid provocative acts and rhetoric.”

Following the clashes, Williams had stated that “Conflicts cannot be resolved by force, but by dialogue and mediation, and to this end the United Nations’ good offices remain available to all parties who believe in helping Libya find a genuine, consensual way forward. stability and choice. “

Meanwhile, rival Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed by the Eastern House of Representatives, said on Wednesday that he would place his government in the central city of Sirte, after clashes forced him to suspend his attempt the day before to get his government. Cabinets for Tripoli.

The city of Sirte is located on Libya’s Mediterranean coast and is located halfway between the country’s east and west, and acts as a link between them and the gateway to the country’s large oil fields and export terminals. The crucial and strategic city is controlled by eastern forces by the putschist General Khalifa Haftar, an ally of Bashagha. Bashagha’s move to Sirte is likely to deepen the political divide in the already divided country and exacerbate the crisis.

The idea of ​​placing the Libyan government in Sirte was raised in the 2020 talks that ended the latest major battle in Libya. Recently, the speaker of the influential parliament, Aguila Saleh – also an ally of Bashagha – called for him to operate from Sirte rather than try to set up his government in Tripoli.

The oil-rich Libya has been embroiled in conflict since the NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011. It has been divided for years between rival administrations in the East and West, each with the support of various foreign governments.

Bashagha, a former interior minister, was appointed prime minister by the country’s eastern parliament in February. But his rival, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, based in Tripoli, in the western part of the country, has refused to resign and insists he will only hand over power to an elected government.

Dbeibah was appointed last year in a UN-led process to lead the country through elections in December that never took place.

On Tuesday, Bashagha tried to place his government in Tripoli, in a move that resulted in clashes with militias allied with Dbeibah just hours after Bashagha and his ministers entered the Libyan capital. At least one man was killed and five others were injured in the clashes, authorities said.

Both prime ministers accused each other of provoking violence, which raised fears that the country could return to civil war after more than a year of tense calm.

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