US Secretary of State Pompeo has called for an immediate stop to the attacks by Libyan General Haftar. A corresponding statement in the UN Security Council, however, was not made. It was blocked by Russia.
The US has called on Libyan General Chalifa Haftar to immediately stop the military offensive near Tripoli. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the USA was very concerned about the fighting. All parties involved are responsible for urgently de-escalating the situation, as the UN Security Council and the G7 ministers stressed on 5 April.
Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus tweeted the official statement issued by Secretary Pompeo earlier today:
11 Killed and 23 Injured so far
The UN embassy in Libya called for a two-hour ceasefire to evacuate civilians and wounded. According to the Ministry of Health of the government of Libya, eleven people were killed and 23 injured in the fighting over Tripoli.
However, a formal declaration by the UN Security Council did not materialize. Russia blocked an appropriate text calling for an end to the advance of General Haftar’s troops. According to diplomats, Moscow insisted that all conflict parties be called to put an end to the fighting. However, the USA refused to amend the declaration.
Despite international calls for an end to violence, Libya continues to drive towards a new civil war. Since dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011 with Western help, hundreds of militias and racketeers are fighting for influence. Again and again, alliances and fronts change. Even in the capital Tripoli in western Libya more than two dozen militia are active; some are part of the internationally recognized government of Fajitas al-Sarraj, others are not. In eastern Libya, a counter-government is trying to assert its interests. General Haftar is associated with it.
In recent months, his forces have also brought parts of the south under their control. On Thursday, Haftar ordered his units to march on Tripoli. It is unclear how successful Haftar’s march on Tripoli has been. Haftar wants to seize the capital and bring the oil-rich crisis country under his leadership. Supporters of the Tripoli government had announced a counteroffensive.