UN confirms keenness to de-escalate military situation in Libya

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-21 15:55:40|Editor: xuxin
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TRIPOLI, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Saturday confirmed its desire to de-escalate the military situation in Libya, as the armed conflict in the capital Tripoli continues between the UN-backed government and the rival east-based army.

"UNSMIL is doing its outmost with all local and foreign actors to avoid military escalation and to ensure protection of civilians from any targeting in addition to taking due care of those who have been forced to leave their homes," the mission said.

"The mission calls upon all parties to respect the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law which prohibits targeting civilians and health facilities, and reminds them of the consequences of any violation," the mission added.

The government on Saturday warned against a new military escalation by the army in Tripoli, calling on the UN mission and the international community to "assume their responsibilities regarding the intentions of the aggressor militias (army) to target civilians."

The army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, has been leading a military campaign since early April to take over the capital Tripoli from the government.

According to the World Health Organization, the fighting has so far killed more than 1,000 people, injured more than 5,700 others and displaced more than 120,000 people.

The army is allied with the eastern-based government, with the North African nation politically divided between eastern and western governments.

Libya has been suffering escalating violence and political instability ever since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.