President warns UN and West about turning a blind eye on Libya

As general Haftar’s forces continue their assault on Tripoli, thousands have descended on Misrata to denounce the war and foreign intervention in Libyan affairs

President George Vella said that turn a blind eye on Libya would cost the west dear
President George Vella said that turn a blind eye on Libya would cost the west dear

President George Vella has called on the United Nations and the West not to turn a blind eye on Libya, warning that failure to do so would cost them dear.

“Why are the UN and the Western world turning a blind eye to the humanitarian disaster developing in Tripoli Libya. It will cost us dear!” tweeted the President.

Libya has been torn by conflict and instability since the ousting of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi back in 2011.

Three weeks ago General Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of Libya’s eastern territory, declared war on Tripoli when he ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army to take the capital from the UN-backed Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Serraj.

Over 200 have so far been killed, with more than 900 wounded. More than 25,000 are estimated to have been displaced.

On Thursday, Serraj condemned the West’s “silence” on what he has described as an attempted coup. During a visit yesterday to areas hit by Haftar’s forces, Serraj said that his government intended to file documents at the International Criminal Court over war crimes he said Haftar’s forces had committed.

The White House said yesterday that US president Donald Trump had spoken with Haftar, with Trump recognising Haftar’s “efforts to combat terrorism and secure Libya’s oil”.

Meanwhile, protestors took to the streets in Mistrata on Friday, many wearing yellow vests, to denounce Haftar’s assault on the capital as well as the involvement of foreign powers in Libya’s internal affairs.

Earlier this month, Germany called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council as a result of the escalation in violence.

G7 ministers urged an immediate halt to "all military activity and movements towards Tripoli" on Friday. The foreign ministers from France, Britain, Germany, US, Italy, Japan and Canada reiterated their belief that there was no military solution to the Libyan conflict.

The statement added that military activity is “hindering prospects for the UN-led political process, putting civilians in danger, and prolonging the suffering of the Libyan people”.

Russia said it was not helping Haftar's forces and it supported a negotiated political settlement that ruled out any new bloodshed.

"The situation should be resolved peacefully," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Haftar enjoys support from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who see him as an ally for his opposition to Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood.

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