UN Secretary General concerned over military escalation in west Libya

UN Secretary General meets with Al-Sirraj in Tripoli. [Photo: GNA media office.]

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern about a potential armed clashes in Libya, where eastern military forces under the command of Khalifa Haftar have moved west and clashes with rival forces in Gharyan south of the capital, Tripoli.

“I am deeply concerned by the military movement taking place in Libya and the risk of confrontation,” Guterres said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

“There is no military solution. Only intra-Libyan dialogue can solve Libyan problems. I call for calm and restraint as I prepare to meet the Libyan leaders in the country.” He added.

On Wednesday, eastern forces loyal to Haftar said they had moved towards the western part of the country, prompting the Tripoli-based Presidential Council (PC) to declare a military alert and mobilize forces.

A brief skirmish between Haftar’s self-styled army and forces allied to the PC was reported on Wednesday evening near a town at the entry of Gharyan, which has been seized later on Thursday by the forces, according to sources from the city.

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