Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) announced Sunday that it killed 23 militia members loyal to renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar in southern Tripoli.
The GNA captured four of Haftar’s forces alive while repulsing the attack, Mustafa al-Mujie, the spokesman for the GNA-led Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation, told Anadolu Agency.
He added that nine GNA soldiers were killed.
The internationally recognized GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 lives lost in the violence.
In a statement Thursday, the UN mission in Libya strongly condemned the continued violations of the armistice by Haftar forces, including the repeated bombing of Mitiga International Airport.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
On Jan. 12, the parties to the conflict announced a ceasefire in response to a joint call by Turkey and Russia.
But talks for a permanent ceasefire hosted by Russia on Jan. 14 proved inconclusive after Haftar left Moscow without signing a deal.
The first round of political talks on the Libya peace process started last Wednesday in Geneva.
The talks followed the completion of a second round of UN-sponsored military talks on Libya in Geneva between the warring sides that ended on Feb. 23.
The Libyan Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks were in a 5+5 format with five representatives of the GNA and five from Haftar’s forces.
The JMC is one of three tracks the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is working on in addition to economic and political tracks in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2510 (2020) and calls upon the two parties to reach a lasting ceasefire agreement.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar
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