Africa

Libya halts flights at Tripoli airport

Libyan government suspends flights over 2nd violation of truce by Haftar forces reached on occasion of Eid al-Adha

Sibel Uğurlu,Sena Güler   | 11.08.2019
Libya halts flights at Tripoli airport

TRIPOLI, Libya

Flights were suspended Sunday at Libya’s Mitiga International Airport in capital Tripoli as Khalifa Haftar-affiliated forces violated the truce reached on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, Muslim religious holiday, for the second time.

All flights were suspended until further notice as the airport came under rocket attacks, said the Facebook page of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA)-led Burkan Al-Ghadab Operation.

The statement noted that it was the second violation of the ceasefire, which had been proposed by the UN and accepted by both commander Khalifa Haftar -- leader of eastern Libyan forces -- and the GNA.

The first violation of the ceasefire by the Haftar forces came when they targeted a neighborhood near the airport with random rocket and artillery fires.

On July 29, Ghassan Salame, special representative of the secretary-general of the UN, offered a truce between the parties in Libya on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha.

Turkey, and the EU also welcomed the call and voiced support for Salame’s proposal.

Early April, forces loyal to Haftar launched a campaign to capture Tripoli from forces aligned with the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Clashes between the two sides since then have left more than 1,000 people dead and about 5,500 wounded, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.

*Writing by Sibel Morrow and Sena Guler

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