Ghassan Salamé Urges International Community to Work Towards a Permanent Ceasefire – Al Marsad

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) issued a statement on Wednesday on the implementation of the humanitarian truce on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, south of Tripoli, welcoming the positive response from both sides, and the palpable reduction of violence in Tripoli.

[Libya, 15 August 2019] – In a statement published by UNSMIL on Wednesday 14 August 2019 in which it explained that it had received reports of violations of the truce: “In the morning hours of 11 August, tank and artillery fire was reported in the Salah al-Din area. Later in the morning, three Grad rockets were fired indiscriminately from southern Tripoli towards Mitiga Airport; two rockets impacted the airport causing material damage to the runway, which forced a temporary halt to air operations; and one rocket hit a residential building in the adjacent neighbourhood, injuring four civilians.”

“During mid-day, tank and artillery fire were reported in the Kasirma area, north of the Tripoli International Airport. In the evening hours, skirmishes were reported in Wadi al-Rabia and the Salah al-Din areas. Furthermore, overflights by unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over the city of Misrata continued during the day,” the UNSMIL reported.

The Mission said in its statement, “On 12 August, skirmishes were reported in the Al-Tuwaisha district, south of Tripoli International Airport, in addition to overflights by unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over the city during the day.” The UNSMIL reiterated that “indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas may constitute a war crime.”

In connection with the situation in the south western town of Murzuq, the UNSMIL said that the “truce was not respected in Murzuq where communal violence between the Tebu and al-Ahali communities continued, killing seven individuals and wounding 54 others. The UNSMIL also received continued reports of burned houses, lootings, and other retaliatory attacks. As of 12 August, the ongoing acts of violence displaced approximately 5,000 individuals to Wadi al-Tebah, and around 200 to Al-Gatroun.”

Meanwhile, Ghassan Salamé, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, expressed UNSMIL’s “continued readiness” to help facilitate the exchange of prisoners, in addition to its willingness “to name a focal point, and to propose a mechanism for these exchanges in cooperation with the parties and relevant local community leaders.” The SRSG also announced the readiness of the UNSMIL to “immediately use its good offices to transform what was accomplished in the period of truce into a permanent ceasefire.”

Concluding its statement, the UNSMIL welcomed the international community’s declarations of support for the truce, and renewed the UN Special Envoy’s proposal to hold a meeting for the concerned countries. According to the statement, “the international community should work towards providing guarantees for a permanent ceasefire, a call for upholding the arms embargo, and a commitment to return in good faith to a UN-sponsored comprehensive political process to end the conflict in Libya.”

© Al Marsad English. 2019.