Serraj: Escalation of crisis in Libya due to support for rebel leader

The President of the State of Libya, Fayez Mustafa Serraj, has attributed the escalation of the crisis in his country to the material and financial support some countries have been giving to the rebel leader Khalifa Haftar.

The situation, he explained, has encouraged his forces to carry out military aggression, particularly in Tripoli and its suburbs, in violation of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution on Arms Embargo.

“This has resulted in the death of 3,000 youth and wanton destruction of infrastructure, displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, apart from forced disappearances, reflecting negatively on the security, safety and livelihood of the Libyan citizens,” Mr Serraj bemoaned.

Expressing his sentiments addressing the 74th Session of UN General Assembly in New York, he renewed his call for the placement of Haftar on international sanctions list and the dispatch of a UN fact-finding committee to document the grave violations of human rights and appealed to the International Criminal Court to expedite investigations into the atrocities.

President Serraj dismissed claims by Haftar he was fighting terrorism and asserted that it was rather the forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and defeated Islamic State (IS) and liberated Sirte from its elements.

“Since Haftar is an impediment to peace initiatives, through dialogue, my government will not hold any negotiations with him again, I welcome the Security Council resolution of September 13, extending the mission of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, a series of national consultations with the cross section of the Libyan society to formulate a comprehensive national vision to emerge from current crisis.

“I also welcome the position of the members of the House of Representatives, held in Tripoli, and the Council of States rejecting the aggression and assuming the responsibility towards defeating the enemy and establishing democratic rule and a modern civilian state.

“My government has taken practical steps to implement decentralised administration by transferring several service functions to the people, oil is wealth of Libyans, its management lies under National Oil Corporation, only the GNA has oversight responsibility for economic and financial institutions of state.

“The government succeeded in containing most armed formations, developed programmes and mechanisms to collect weapons, integrate elements of armed formations into state security, provide employment and rehabilitation to integrate into civil life,” President Serraj assured.

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