By Sami Zaptia.
London, 16 January 2019:
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has today strongly condemned the recent military mobilisation of militias in southern Tripoli.
It said it is monitoring the situation closely. It warned parties against any breach of the Zawia ceasefire agreement concluded on 4 and 9 September 2018.
UNSMIL’s condemnation comes on the back of reports of mobilization by the Tarhuna-based 7th Infantry Kani Brigade confronting the Tripoli-based Tripoli Protection Force (TPF) in the Gaser Benghashir district of south Tripoli.
The TPF was announced in December 2018 and is a coalition of the four main Tripoli militias.
The four militias are: The Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade (TRB); Abusleem Deterence and Rapid Intervention Force; the Nawasi 8th Force; and the Bab Tajura brigade.
The Tripoli militias said they had amalgamated into the TPF in response to manoeuvres and mobilizations by other militias around the outskirts of Tripoli.
In its condemnation, UNSMIL warned against militias compromising stability in the capital and endangering the lives of civilians and their properties.
It stressed that any party initiating a confrontation will be held fully responsible. It affirmed that it will take action as necessary and will explore all possible and available measures based on future developments on the ground in order to deter such events, which it condemned and rejected unequivocally.
UNSMIL reminded all parties in Libya that any direct or indirect attack on civilians, their properties and public facilities constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.