By Sami Zaptia.
London, 19 February 2020:
The internationally recognized Libyan government based in Tripoli led by Faiez Serraj announced late yesterday that it was suspending its participation in the UN-brokered 5+5 Libya Military talks held in Geneve.
The suspension comes after their adversary, the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Hafter, continued to violate the agreed truce in the Tripoli fighting.
On Monday, Mitiga airport was attacked again causing it to suspend flights while projectiles landed in other parts of Tripoli. Markedly, Tripoli Port was hit yesterday at least twice leading to two deaths and casualties – at the time UNSMIL head Ghassan Salame was brokering the military talks in Geneva and while U.S. Ambassador Norland was meeting with Hafter in eastern Libya.
In its military withdrawal statement yesterday, the Serraj government said the ongoing bombing of Tripoli port and other civilian sites is preplanned to create a crisis and instability in Libya. It added that this action by the Hafter forces comes in reaction to their military failure to capture Tripoli. It further condemned Hafter’s appeasement by the international community and his blatant disregard for UN Security Council resolutions, the agreed truce and the agreed Berlin conference outcomes.
Citing its right to self-defence, the Serraj government said that there can be no peace under bombardment and that it would respond decisively to the truce violations at a time and place of its choosing.
It will be recalled that Khalifa Hafter and his allied forces launched an attack on Tripoli in April 2019 to ‘‘liberate’’ Tripoli from ‘‘militias, Islamists and terrorists’’.
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