Libyan Minister Chides UN, International Community for Failing to Protect His Country
24 February 2020, 17:18
The head of Libya’s internationally recognized government has criticized the international community for not supporting the Libyan people and Government of National Accord, who are under attack by rebel forces. He spoke at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, VOA news reports.
The president of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya, Faiez Mustafa Serraj, quickly departed from diplomatic niceties to complain about the lack of U.N. and international support for his beleaguered government.
He condemned the assault on the capital Tripoli by rebel commander, Khalifa Haftar, whom he branded a war criminal. He said Haftar’s military offensive, which began April 2019, has killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Serraj said civilians, airports, hospitals and infrastructure have been targeted.
“Children have lost their right to education due to the shelling and the closure of schools because of the attacker and those who fund the attacker and provide weapons to them. These must be held accountable,” he said.
The United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt back Haftar’s forces, while the Government of National Accord is supported by Turkey. These nations have been supplying their respective sides with thousands of weapons in defiance of a U.N. arms embargo.
A second round of U.N. brokered peace talks aimed at achieving a permanent cease fire between Libya’s warring parties ended inconclusively Monday. This, after less than a week of on-again, off-again turbulent meetings.
In announcing the end of the round, the U.N. mediator said the two parties had prepared a draft cease-fire agreement and would resume discussions next month.
Serraj expressed disappointment that the U.N. has ignored his government’s requests to establish Commissions of Inquiries to monitor the alleged violations of forced displacement, arbitrary detention, and extra-judicial killings committed by Haftar’s forces.
“And, we have requested additional technical assistance in order to implement national and international laws… as well as to fight impunity and implement mechanisms of accountability,” he said.
The Libyan president reminded the U.N. and international community of the commitments and responsibilities they made to support the Libyan people after approving the 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution that established the Government of National Accord.