Thursday, 9/4/2020 | 1:51 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Libyas UN-backed government suspends participation in Geneva peace talks

TRIPOLI Libyas unity government announced it would halt its participation in UN talks aimed at brokering a

lasting ceasefire in the war-torn country where a fragile truce has been

repeatedly violated.

The pull-out came after a barrage of rocket fire hit a port in the capital

Tripoli � the target of a months-long operation by eastern military

commander Khalifa Haftar to oust the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

We are announcing the suspension of our participation in the military

talks taking place in Geneva until firm positions are adopted against the

aggressor (Haftar) and his violations of the truce the GNA said in a press


Without a lasting ceasefire negotiations make no sense. There can be no

peace under the bombing it added.

The port strikes were the latest violation of a tenuous truce that came

into effect in January brokered by Haftar-backer Russia and Turkey which

supports the UN-recognised government in Tripoli.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

It is clear the objective of the systematic bombardments of the

residential areas the airport and the port in addition to the total

blockage of the oil installations is to provoke crises for the citizens in

all the aspects of their life the GNA statement said.

It added that Haftars forces were trying in vain to destabilise the

state having failed to seize power.

UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame launched the second round of talks on Tuesday in the latest international effort to end fighting between the warring sides with five senior officers from the GNA and five appointed by Haftars Libyan National Army (LNA) taking part.

A first round of the talks ended with no result earlier this month but

Salame said there was more hope this time mainly because of the approval of a UN Security Council resolution calling for a lasting ceasefire.

Libya has been in turmoil since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi with rival armed factions still vying for power.

In the latest outbreak of fighting Haftar launched his offensive on

Tripoli last April but after rapid advances his forces stalled on the edges

of the capital.

The fighting has left more than 1000 people dead and displaced some

140000 according to the United Nations.

Further talks were planned to start in Geneva on Feb 26 on finding a

political solution.

World leaders had agreed at a Berlin summit last month to end all meddling

in the conflict and stop the flow of weapons but little has changed on the

ground since then.

EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to launch a naval mission to enforce an arms embargo which the UN said was being violated by air land and sea.

The naval operation will be authorised to intervene to stop weapons

shipments into the North African state.

States including Russia the United Arab Emirates and Egypt support Haftar

while the UN-recognised government led by Fayez al-Sarraj is backed by Turkey and Qatar.