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Libya’s High State Council Urges End to Derna Military Campaign

Libya’s High State Council Urges End to Derna Military Campaign

Thursday, 10 May, 2018 - 07:15
LNA soldiers take part in a military parade in the eastern city of Benghazi on May 7, 2018, during which Khalifa Haftar announced a military offensive to liberate Derna, Abdullah DOMA / AFP

The High Council of State (HCS), led by the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Khalid al-Mishri, has called on the Presidential Council, the parliament and the UN Support Mission in Libya to intervene and put an end to the military operations launched by the Libyan National Army (LNA) to liberate the eastern city of Derna from extremists.

HCS called on ending the army “siege” of the city, allowing humanitarian aid to enter Derna and to provide hospitals with the needed medical supplies.

In a surprise statement, the Government of National Accord declared that member of the Presidential Council Mohamed Amari met Awad Lairej, head of the city’s local council and its suburbs, who allegedly affirmed that Derna’s civil and military institutions are affiliated with the GNA.

According to the statement, Lairej informed Amari that the city has been suffering as a result of the "siege" and the military operations.

It said that Amari requested the Presidential Council to spare the city more destruction and preserve its social fabric. He also expressed support to Derna and its residents, denouncing the silence of the international community and the UN Mission regarding the developments there.

The statement issued by the government of Fayez al-Sarraj also said that the GNA and its Presidential Council were taking necessary decisions to reach a ceasefire and protect the civilians.

The statement was a reflection of the GNA’s rivalry with the LNA led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

An LNA officer affirmed in return that Sarraj’s government and extremist militias controlling Derna are closely linked.

The officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that Haftar’s instructions to liberate the city mean abolishing any attempt for mediation or ceasefire.

The operation to liberate the city will not stop until the last terrorist is eliminated in his hideout, the officer added.

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