Libya govt urges ‘intervention’ over southern clashes

Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister-designate, Fayez al-Sarraj. (AFP file photo)
Updated 17 April 2017
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Libya govt urges ‘intervention’ over southern clashes

TRIPOLI: Libya’s unity government has called for “urgent intervention” by the international community to end military escalation in its south, warning of a possible “civil war.”
For more than a week, militias allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord have fought off rival forces trying to capture an airbase in the south of the North African country.
“We ask you to take a firm and decisive stance with regards to this escalation and we will support all decisions to re-establish security and stability in Libya,” GNA head Fayez Al-Sarraj wrote in a letter published Saturday.
Sarraj called for an “urgent intervention” from the international community “to end the deterioration of the situation in south Libya,” in an open letter addressed to bodies including the European Union, the United Nations and the Arab League.
He did not specify the nature of what form such intervention could take.
Clashes erupted last week after the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, commanded by military strongman Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and loyal to Libya’s eastern authorities, battled to seize the Tamenhant air base from militias backing the GNA.
“This sudden and unjustified escalation... puts the country on the brink of civil war,” Sarraj said.
The GNA, which both Haftar and the eastern-based Parliament have refused to recognize, has announced a counter-offensive against the LNA.
The LNA has said the Tamenhant base was a launching pad for fighters who seized key oil terminals from its control last month, before the LNA retook them days later.
But the unity government has denied any link with the attacks on the oil facilities in Libya’s northeast.
The GNA, which was born of a UN-brokered deal signed in late 2015, has struggled to assert its authority nationwide since taking office in Tripoli in March last year.
Libya has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with rival militias and authorities vying for control of the oil-rich country.


Meeting on borders, airports, ports and customs security held in Tunis

Koman highlighted that cooperation between agencies in Arab countries was key in combating smugglers, drug dealers, human traffickers and terrorist organizations. (SPA)
Updated 56 sec ago
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Meeting on borders, airports, ports and customs security held in Tunis

  • Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior Mohammed bin Ali Koman said that cooperation was a prerequisite for the success of joint efforts for protecting Arab countries from organized crime not only at the security level, but also

JEDDAH: The second joint meeting of the heads of security services of borders, airports, ports, and customs agencies in Arab countries was held on Tuesday at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers in Tunis.

Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior Mohammed bin Ali Koman said that cooperation was a prerequisite for the success of joint efforts for protecting Arab countries from organized crime not only at the security level, but also at the economic, social and even health care levels.

Koman highlighted that cooperation between agencies in Arab countries was key in combating smugglers, drug dealers, human traffickers and terrorist organizations.

“This system should not be limited to establishing constructive cooperation between the security services of borders, airports, ports, and customs agencies,” he said, “but must also involve other stakeholders, such as immigration and passport services, civil aviation authorities, and the armed forces.”