UN warns of Haftar forces’ blocking UN flights landing in Libya

Mitiga Airport [Photo: Social Media]
The United Nations on Wednesday warned that forces loyal to Libya’s renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar are stopping aircraft from landing, hampering the world body’s aid and peace efforts.

Speaking with reporters in New York, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the lack of flight clearance from Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) could impact a fragile peace process in the North African oil exporter.

“The UN in Libya regrets that its regular flights that transport our staff to and from Libya have not been granted permission by the Libyan National Army to land in Libya,” said Dujarric. “This practice has been repeated on several occasions in the past weeks.”

UN envoy Ghassan Salame has tried to mediate between Haftar and the Tripoli government, which are backed by a range of international players in a “three-track” approach covering military, economic and political efforts.

“The UN is very concerned that preventing its flights from travelling in and out of Libya will severely hinder our humanitarian and good offices efforts at a time when all the staff are working relentlessly to push forward the ongoing three-track intra-Libyan dialogue and to provide much needed humanitarian assistance to some of the most vulnerable conflict-affected civilians,” said Dujarric.

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