Thursday, April 2, 2020 06:39:08 PM
AFP, Tripoli :
UN chief Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern on Thursday over the risk of confrontation in Libya after forces loyal to a controversial strongman announced they were preparing to advance on Tripoli.
"I am deeply concerned by the military movement taking place in Libya and the risk of confrontation," the visiting Guterres tweeted from the capital, which is controlled by a UN-backed unity government.
"There is no military solution," he said.
Dozens of militias have fought for control of the North African country since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
But the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar has emerged as a key player, opposing the government in Tripoli and backing a parallel administration in the east.
Haftar launched an offensive into oil-producing regions of southern Libya in January ostensibly aimed at wiping out "terrorists" and criminal groups.
He has repeatedly expressed his intention to march on Tripoli.
LNA spokesman Ahmed Mesmari said at a press conference on Wednesday that "preparations are on the point of being completed... to purge the west of terrorists and mercenaries".
Unity government chief Fayez al-Sarraj called the move an "escalation" and urged Haftar's forces to "stop using the language of threats".
He said he had ordered pro-government forces to prepare to "face all threats... whether from terrorist groups, criminals, outlaws and all who threaten the security of every Libyan city".
The bellicose comments from Haftar's forces come as the United Nations prepares to convene a conference later this month to hammer out a roadmap for delayed parliamentary and presidential elections.
"Only intra-Libyan dialogue can solve Libyan problems," Guterres said on Thursday.
"I call for calm and restraint as I prepare to meet the Libyan leaders in the country."
The rival leaders had agreed in Paris last year to hold elections before the end of the year, but that vote never materialised as Haftar's forces and the Tripoli government grappled for power.
The UN has said Haftar and Sarraj agreed at a meeting in Abu Dhabi last month to make a new attempt to organise the elections.
"The situation now is very calm inside the city. There is a gathering of those forces who came from the south," he said.
Libya has been divided between the internationally recognised government in Tripoli and a parallel administration allied to Haftar since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The U.N.'s Gutteres said in a tweet he was deeply concerned by the military movements and the risk of confrontation.
"There is no military solution. Only intra-Libyan dialogue can solve Libyan problems. I call for calm and restraint as I prepare to meet the Libyan leaders in the country," he said.
The renewed confrontation was a setback for the United Nations and Western countries which have been trying to mediate between Serraj and Haftar, who met in Abu Dhabi last month to discuss a power-sharing deal.
A national conference is set to follow this month to agree on a road map for elections.
Libya is an oil producer and a hub for refugees and migrants trekking across the Sahara in the hope of reaching Europe.
Women players suing US Soccer say in court documents filed Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged the jobs of men and women footballers require equal skill.The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by federation lawyers earlier in March provoked widespread ...
BBC Online :Former Marseille president Pape Diouf has died aged 68 after contracting coronavirus, the club have announced.The Senegalese was president between 2005 and 2009 when Marseille finished second in Ligue 1 twice and reached two French Cup finals.They went on to win a first French league title in 18 ...
THE government is going to launch a special open market sale (OMS) of coarse rice at Tk 10 per kg in all city corporation areas to ensure food for the urban poor amid the countrywide public holiday for coronavirus. The shutdown is being enforced as part of the efforts to ...
AS the coronavirus gains a foothold in the country, the increasing vulnerability of millions of orphaned and destitute children remains largely unaddressed. There are around 4,400,000 orphaned children in Bangladesh. However, the government's department of social services knows of around 2, 00,000 kids who live in 85 government-run children's homes ...
AP, Paris :Karim Benzema made an unflattering comment about fellow forward Olivier Giroud, comparing himself to a Formula One car and his former France teammate to a go-kart.Benzema has nearly 250 goals for Real Madrid and won four Champions League titles. He was holding a live chat session on his ...
LANS :Lancashire Cricket Club chairman David Hodgkiss has died after contracting coronavirus. He was 71.Hodgkiss, who had been on the board at Emirate Old Trafford for 22 years, is understood to have had underlying health issues, reports ESPNcricinfo. He had first joined in 1998 and took over as chairman in ...
COUNTRY'S leading business conglomerate Bashundhara Group has submitted a proposal to Prime Minister to build a 5,000-bed hospital to treat the coronavirus patients. The Group wanted to convert its four convention centres and a trade centre in capital's Kuril area into a hospital which could be ready within a week ...
Business Desk :Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Limited donated the video conference systems and AI solution to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare aimed to help the fight of people of Bangladesh against COVID-19. This aid will support the ministry in providing multi-collaboration, remote communication and efficient screening.Zhang Zhengjun, the CEO ...
Xavi Hernandez has reiterated his desire to coach Barcelona in the future but suggests he will not return until a different board brings a new sense of direction to the club.Hernandez is in charge of Al-Sadd in Qatar and turned down an approach in January after Barca sacked Ernesto Valverde, ...
The Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 next year, organisers said on Monday, after the coronavirus forced the historic decision to postpone the Games until 2021.The announcement comes less than a week after the organisers were forced to delay the Games under heavy pressure from athletes and sports federations ...