Tripoli ceasefire remains steadfast despite recent clashes: UN Libya envoy

UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé briefed the UN Security Council on the security and humanitarian situation in Libya. (Screengrab)
Updated 18 January 2019
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Tripoli ceasefire remains steadfast despite recent clashes: UN Libya envoy

  • Fighting broke out this week between rival armed groups in the south of the capital

UNITED NATIONS: A cease-fire in Tripoli remains steadfast despite heavy recent clashes, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé told the Security Council on Friday.
Fighting broke out this week between rival armed groups in the south of the capital, breaching a shaky ceasefire brokered by the UN in September.
In a comprehensive briefing, Salamé said the UN mission in Libya was cooperating with the Libyan Reconciliation Government to transfer control of prisons to the authority of the state, but armed groups are assuming responsibility for law enforcement rather than official Libyan bodies.
He also said new divisions emerge in Libya every day that should be dealt with.
Salamé said the country can not succeed without a united national leadership, calling on Libyan parties to cooperate constructively to approve and pass the UN backed constitution. 
The UN envoy says the United Nations is seeking to bring Libyans together in the coming weeks to agree on a national agenda to rebuild the fractured north African nation and spell out the path to elections.
Ghassan Salame told to the Security Council that the UN will announce the date and place of the National Conference once Libyan representatives agree on “the essential ingredients for a new consensus on a national agenda.”
He said only Libyans can plot a way out of the political deadlock in the country which “has been underpinned by a complex web of narrow interests, a broken legal framework, and the pillaging of Libya’s great wealth.”
Libya has been split between rival parliaments, one in tripoli and one in Benghazi, since a civil war erupted in 2011 during the downfall of former ruler Muammar Qaddafi.
The UN envoy said “we need additional effort to establish a stable and prosperous economic system in Libya,” adding that the Libyan currency has gained stability, inflation has decreased and progress has been achieved in resolving the liquidity crisis.
He said the UN mission stressed the importance of allowing aid to civilians in Libya without hindrance, noting that all Libyans suffer from violations, violence and difficult humanitarian conditions.
“Without international support, the saboteurs will succeed in undermining the political process in Libya,” he added.
Finally, Salamé said they expect the UN office in Benghazi, in the east, to be reopened before the end of January


Civilians prompt delay in assault on last Daesh enclave: Kurd-led forces

Updated 16 February 2019
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Civilians prompt delay in assault on last Daesh enclave: Kurd-led forces

  • The last few hundred Daesh militants, many of them foreigners, had surrendered in the past two days to the Syrian Democratic Forces

OMAR OIL FIELD, Syria: “Large numbers” of civilians remain inside the last Daesh group enclave in Syria prompting a fresh delay in a final advance, Kurdish-led forces said on Saturday.

“There are still civilians inside in large numbers,” US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Adnan Afrin said on the day President Donald Trump said he expected to announce the end of the militants’ “caliphate.”

“We weren’t expecting this number, otherwise we wouldn’t have resumed the campaign four days ago. This is why it’s been delayed,” Afrin said.

A second SDF spokesman said that the diehard militants remained in control of the tiny enclave around the village of Baghouz on the north bank of the Euphrates river.

“The pocket inside Baghouz is still controlled by the Daesh group,” spokesman Mustefa Bali said.

“There are still civilians inside Baghouz and we are working on getting them out.”

Neither spokesman would comment on the timeline set by Trump for a US announcement that the “caliphate” had been eradicated.

“We have a lot of great announcements having to do with Syria and our success with the eradication of the caliphate and that will be announced over the next 24 hours,” Trump told reporters at around 1600 GMT on Thursday.