By Sami Zaptia.
London, 26 August 2021:
UNSMIL welcomed today the creation of a new joint force, from both sides of the demarcation lines (western and eastern Libya), comprising the 166 Battalion for Protection and Security (Misrata) and the Tareq Bin Ziyad Brigade (eastern-based Salafist-Madkhalist brigade aligned with Khalifa Hafter), which has been tasked to secure the Man-Made River (MMR).
UNSMIL commended these efforts, conducted in coordination with the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC). ‘‘It is a very significant step forward towards the unification of the military institution and the country’’, it added.
“I strongly welcome this achievement, which would not only ensure the security of the Great Man-Made River and uninterrupted flow of water supply, but also paves the way for further confidence-building measures and eventually for the full implementation of the (23 October 2020) Ceasefire Agreement as well as for the reunification of state institutions,” UNSMIL head Jan Kubis said.
“This step sends a strong message to Libyans and international actors that Libyans are able and willing to overcome their differences and come together in building a unified, stable, prosperous and democratic country,” he added.