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Arab League, UN, EU and AU Demand Foreign Forces Leave Libya

Arab League, UN, EU and AU Demand Foreign Forces Leave Libya

Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 - 04:30
Turkish-trained members of Libya's special forces demonstrate their skills during a graduation ceremony in the coastal city al-Khums, about 120kms east of the capital Tripoli, on April 8, 2021 - AFP

The Arab League, United Nations, European Union and the African Union on Tuesday demanded an immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from Libya.

In a statement after a videoconference by its leaders, the Libya Quartet demanded "full compliance with the arms embargo and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the entirety of Libya's territory."

The much-violated arms embargo has been in place since 2011, when an uprising toppled longtime Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi during the regional upheaval known as the Arab Spring, AFP reported.

The UN estimates that some 20,000 foreign fighters, mainly troops from Turkey and mercenaries from Russia, Syria, Chad and Sudan, are currently deployed in the country.

In recent weeks, the possible departure of Syrian mercenaries has been raised and, this weekend, N'Djamena mentioned the arrival in Chad from Libya of several hundred Chadian mercenaries who may have contributed to the fighting that led to the death of President Idriss Deby.

During its meeting, the Libya Quartet "condemned the continued violations of the UN arms embargo and emphasized that all external military intervention in Libya is unacceptable."

It also called for "the sustained implementation of measures to fully identify and dismantle these groups."

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