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UN: Security Council meeting warns war in Libya could intensify03:04

UN: Security Council meeting warns war in Libya could intensify

United Nations, Various locations
May 20, 2020 at 04:07 GMT -00:00 · Published

The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Stephanie Williams addressed the UN Security Council via video conference this Tuesday, describing the dire situation in war-torn Libya that's been worsened by COVID-19.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had previously called for a "global ceasefire" after the extent of the coronavirus pandemic's consequences became clear.

"While people around the world are adjusting to the new normal of living with a global pandemic, millions of Libyans - most notably the two million residents of Tripoli - are experiencing a most abnormal and terrifying existence, under almost constant bombardment, frequent water and electricity cuts and compounded by restricted movement as a result of preventive COVID-19 measures, rendering the whole situation unbearable for the majority to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in peace," said Acting Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams.

The special representative warned the council that fighting would worsen within the country, and the supply disruptions caused by the pandemic may spell havoc for Libyans.

"As we survey the carnage wrought by almost 15 months of unrelenting violence in Libya, I believe we have reached another turning point in the conflict. From what we are witnessing in terms of the massive influx of weaponry, equipment and mercenaries to the two sides, the only conclusion that we can draw is that this war will intensify, broaden and deepen with devastating consequences for the Libyan people."

Another participant, Taher El Sonni, the ambassador of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to the United Nations, said supporters of Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar have "lost their bet" describing the commander as a "war criminal."

Following the ousting of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been split into areas controlled by the GNA in Tripoli and the northwest, and territories held by eastern-based LNA in Benghazi lead by Haftar.

UN: Security Council meeting warns war in Libya could intensify03:04
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The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Stephanie Williams addressed the UN Security Council via video conference this Tuesday, describing the dire situation in war-torn Libya that's been worsened by COVID-19.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had previously called for a "global ceasefire" after the extent of the coronavirus pandemic's consequences became clear.

"While people around the world are adjusting to the new normal of living with a global pandemic, millions of Libyans - most notably the two million residents of Tripoli - are experiencing a most abnormal and terrifying existence, under almost constant bombardment, frequent water and electricity cuts and compounded by restricted movement as a result of preventive COVID-19 measures, rendering the whole situation unbearable for the majority to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in peace," said Acting Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams.

The special representative warned the council that fighting would worsen within the country, and the supply disruptions caused by the pandemic may spell havoc for Libyans.

"As we survey the carnage wrought by almost 15 months of unrelenting violence in Libya, I believe we have reached another turning point in the conflict. From what we are witnessing in terms of the massive influx of weaponry, equipment and mercenaries to the two sides, the only conclusion that we can draw is that this war will intensify, broaden and deepen with devastating consequences for the Libyan people."

Another participant, Taher El Sonni, the ambassador of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to the United Nations, said supporters of Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar have "lost their bet" describing the commander as a "war criminal."

Following the ousting of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been split into areas controlled by the GNA in Tripoli and the northwest, and territories held by eastern-based LNA in Benghazi lead by Haftar.

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