Serraj government calls on international community to shoulder responsibility in protecting Mitiga airport
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 24 January 2020:
The internationally recognized Libyan government led by Faiez Serraj yesterday called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility in protecting Mitiga airport.
The call came after missiles were targeted towards the airport on Wednesday leading to its brief closure. It was reopened on the same day. The call by the Serraj administration also comes after Khalifa Hafter’s spokesperson, Ahmed Mesmari, announced that Tripoli and Mitiga airport were a ‘‘no-fly zone’’. He also threatened any military or civilian aircraft flying over Tripoli with destruction.
The catalyst for this was ostensibly a drone that the Khalifa Hafter forces claim they had shot down after it had taken off from Mitiga. The forces defending Tripoli claimed that they had shot the drone down which they claim belonged to the Hafter forces.
The developments come after Ministers from Libya’s neighbouring countries met in Algiers to discuss the Libyan crisis and only a week after the much-heralded Berlin conference on Libya. The conference’s final communique and United Nation’s support portended a permanent Libyan ceasefire and decreased international involvement and arms supplies to Libya.
However, in reality, residents in Tripoli reported to Libya Herald a marked increase in military action signified by increased and louder sounds of gunfire.
In announcing the reopening of Mitiga airport, the Serraj government referred to the Berlin final communique and shouldered any negative consequences to civilian aircraft as a result of the airport’s reopening on Hafter’s forces.