The EU on Friday condemned the latest attacks on Libyan civilians by the forces of warlord Khalifa Haftar.
“Any kind of indiscriminate strikes targeted at heavily populated areas are unacceptable and run against the basic principles of international humanitarian law,” Peter Stano, the EU foreign policy spokesperson, told the European Commission’s daily press briefing.
In the past two days, at least nine people have lost their lives to various rocket attacks in Tripoli, Libya’s capital.
At Friday dawn, Haftar’s forces shelled the coastal road leading to the port of Tripoli, close to the residences of the Turkish and Italian ambassadors.
According to Stano, “this incident underlines the necessity for all parties to agree on a sustainable cease-fire to restore stability in the country.”
However, he rejected Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj’s recent criticisms of the EU’s military mission in Libya. According to Saraj, Operation Irini has only helped Haftar.
“The main task of the operation is to prevent the illegal arms flow into Libya,” said Stano.
He said the EU enforcing the UN arms embargo helps create conditions for a cease-fire and political solution in Libya.
EU member states last month approved the launch of Operation Irini, which aims to enforce the UN arms embargo on Libya.
The new mission will operate in the air, sea, and with satellites to ensure that all countries respect the ban on providing arms for the parties involved in the Libyan conflict.
The Libyan government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.
Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal.
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