Egypt calls on Libyan sides to end escalation, enter into dialogue to spare bloodshed

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Aug 2022

Egypt has called on all Libyan parties, national forces and social components to end escalation, prioritise language of dialogue and avoid violence following a day of clashes in the capital Tripoli on Saturday.

Libyan
Fighters loyal to the Government of National Unity are pictured in a street in the Libyan capital Tripoli on August 27, 2022. AFP


Spokesperson for Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ahmed Hafez said in a statement on Saturday evening, that Egypt calls on all Libyan parties to practice restraint in order to spare bloodshed.

Egypt emphasised the urgent need to protect civilians and achieve calm, to preserve the safety and security of the brotherly Libyan people.

Egypt is keen to reach a Libyan-Libyan consensual solution in a way that meets their aspirations and vision to move towards the future and achieve the desired stability in Libya, the statement concluded.

Clashes between backers of Libya's rival governments killed at least 32 people, the health ministry said Sunday in a new toll, after a battle that sparked fears of a major new conflict. 

Armed groups had exchanged fire that damaged several hospitals and set buildings on fire starting Friday evening, but a cautious calm had set in by Saturday evening.

The UN's Libya mission called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities," citing "ongoing armed clashes including indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighbourhoods" that it said had damaged hospitals.

The fighting came after months of mounting tensions between backers of Abdulhamid Dbeibah and Fathi Bashagha, whose rival administrations are vying for control of the North African country which has seen more than a decade of violence since a 2011 uprising, according to AFP.

Dbeibah's administration, installed in the capital as part of a United Nations-led peace process after the end of the last major battle in 2020, has so far prevented Bashagha from taking office there, arguing that the next administration should be the product of elections.

Bashagha was appointed by Libya's eastern-based parliament earlier this year and is backed by powerful eastern military chief Khalifa Haftar, whose 2019 attempt to seize the capital by force turned into a year-long civil war.

Bashagha, a former interior minister, had initially ruled out the use of violence to take power in Tripoli but had since hinted that he could resort to force.

Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 overthrow and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed uprising, with myriad armed groups and foreign powers moving to fill the power vacuum.

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