UN chief announces possible creation of demilitarized zone in Libya
- 09 July 2020
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) takes steps aimed at establishing a demilitarized zone in that country, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at a UN Security Council session via a video call on Wednesday, APA reports citing Reuters.
"De-escalation efforts, including the creation of a possible demilitarized zone, are being undertaken by UNSMIL to reach a negotiated solution and spare lives," he said.
Libya currently has two parallel bodies of supreme executive power, namely the internationally recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, and the interim government of Abdullah al-Thani, seated in the east of the country, along with the elected parliament, which is supported by the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
On April 4, 2019 Haftar launched an offensive on Tripoli. The government in the capital asked Turkey for protection. Backed by Ankara, the Government of National Accord regained control over some regions seized by the LNA. In particular, in May, the government forces seized the strategic al-Watiya airbase abandoned by Haftar forces. Later, Turkey was reported to be holding talks with the Tripoli-based cabinet about the possibility of using Libyan military bases -al-Watiya and the Misurata naval base (200 kilometers east of Tripoli).