UN to reopen office in Benghazi as it recognizes warlord Haftar as commander of Libyan Army

  • Libyan Express |
  • Saturday 3 March 2018

Salame meets Haftar in eastern Libya [Photo: UNSMIL]

The Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame said Friday that the UNMIL will reopen an office in Benghazi for the first time in years.
 
“We are preparing to reopen a UN office in Benghazi and I promise you to continue to engage with people and residents of Barqa, eastern Libya.” Ghassan Salame said during a meeting in Benghazi with more than 60 tribal leaders and elders from eastern Libya.
 
Salame said Barqa has played a key role in the history of Libya, pointing out the necessity of equality and saying: “The UN cannot side with marginalization or discrimination.”
 
The elders and tribal leaders called for a fair sharing of resources, argued for decentralization and shared their views about the need for a constitutional framework, according to the UNSMIL.
 
Salame has been on a working visit to eastern Libya since Thursday to hold talks with local officials on reconstruction, mine clearance, assistance to displaced people, as well as support from international organizations.
 
He met with Khalifa Haftar in Rajma, Marij twon and posted on Twitter “A meeting with the LNA commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, to discuss Libya political process and next steps.
 
This recognition of Haftar as the commander of the Libyan army was slammed by both ordinary Libyans and politicians in west Libya, who said that this means that the UN recognizes warlord Haftar as the commander of the army despite the war crimes he and his forces are committing in Benghazi, Derna and elsewhere.
 
The UNSMIL pulled out staff from Libya in July 2014 due to deteriorating security conditions in the country.
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