United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that he fears Libya might plunge into a “full civil war” if no measures are taken to end the ongoing conflict, reported France 24. The forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take the capital Tripoli from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord in April.
“Unless action is taken in the near term, it is highly likely that the current conflict will escalate into full civil war,” Guterres said in a report submitted to United Nations Security Council.
The UN Secretary-General called out for the international community’s support in finding a political solution for the country.
“A political solution to the Libyan conflict requires the full and united support of the international community,” Guterres said.
He also urged both sides to refrain from using explosive weapons in populated areas.
“I urge all parties to stop using explosive weapons, including by aerial bombardment or shelling, in populated areas because of their likely indiscriminate effects,” the UN Secretary-General wrote in the report.
He said the use of foreign fighters and mercenaries by parties to the conflict in Libya is a matter of great concern as well as the influx of weapons to the country. He called for strict adherence to an arms embargo in place since 2011.
The fighting between Haftar’s forces and the Libya government’s forces on the outskirts of Tripoli has left 1,000 people dead and displaced 120,000 until now.
In his report, Guterres also expressed concern for refugees and migrants in Libya. He said the refugees and migrants in Libya should be released and provided with safe shelter until their asylum claims can be processed or they can be provided with safe repatriation assistance for reunification with their families.