AU Urges Rival Libyan Factions To Exercise Restraint Following Deadly Clashes
The African Union (AU) has urged rival factions to exercise restraint following clashes between armed groups loyal to Libya’s rival governments, reported The CGTN Africa.
The fighting between armed groups of rival governments started on Thursday in central Tripoli, according to local media reports.
As per the report, at least 16 people have been killed and 52 others got injured in the clashes that also took place in Misurata, the seat of the country’s other rival leader. The cause of the fighting was unclear, but it is likely that the clashes were part of the ongoing power struggle between security forces backing the country’s rival administrations.
In a statement released on Saturday, AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat urged the warring parties to stop the fighting by refraining from all forms of violence in deference to the yearnings of the Libyan People for peace.
“The Chairperson deplores the loss of life resulting from yesterday’s clashes between rival armed groups and emphasizes that the security of civilians is an obligation under International Humanitarian Law,” the statement added.
Mahamat reiterated the continued the African Union’s commitment to support the peace process in Libya through its roadmap for reconciliation.
The AU Commission chief also appealed to all stakeholders to redouble their efforts towards finding amicable solutions to the current crisis in the interest of sustainable peace and security and to prioritise the interest of the country and its people.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the United States have also spoken out against the escalation of violence in the country following months of a political stalemate.
Libya has been facing a political turmoil since 2011 after the ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. The national elections were due to be held in the country in December but the collapse of the political process pushed it back into a political crisis.