Libya: More than 18,000 people have fled their homes due to fighting in the Tripoli region

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According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 18,250 people have been displaced by the fighting that began last week in southern Tripoli.
“At least 3,650 families (about 18,250 people) were displaced from their homes as a result of the armed conflict in southern Tripoli on April 5,” the statement said.
According to IOM, the fighting has already caused power outages, communications and water shortages, and many shops are closed. The organisation is concerned about the plight of 3,600 refugees who are still in migrant detention centres in Tripoli.
Sarraj warned Europe about the possibility of 800,000 refugees from Libya
Fayez Sarraj, head of the government of national unity, accused the commander of the Libyan national army Khalifa Haftar of treason and warned that the Libyan crisis could attract 800,000 migrants to Europe, including terrorists.
The internationally recognized head of government made this statement during an interview with the Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera. He called for action to save civilians and stop the aggression of Haftar, “the man who betrayed Libya and the international community.
“Not only are 800,000 migrants potentially ready to leave, but also Libyans fleeing the war. In southern Libya, terrorists from the “Islamic State” are once again active, according to Sarraj.
According to him, Haftar is waging a war against the civilian population, as well as against the controlled armed forces of Tripoli. “They attack civilian facilities, roads, schools, homes, airports and medical facilities such as ambulances and hospitals. General Haftar said he was attacking terrorists, but there are only civilians here,” Sarraj told Corriere della Sera.
Mr. Sarraj’s statements were followed on the day of the visit to Rome of Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad Al Thani and Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maetig, who came to meet with the Prime Minister and the Italian Foreign Minister to discuss the situation in Libya.
Italy is trying to play a mediating role
Italy is trying to assume the role of mediator in resolving the Libyan crisis. Thus, last week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte received Marshal Haftar’s delegation and received a personal message from him.
On Friday, Conte created a crisis cabinet on Libya to monitor the evolution of the crisis in the North African country. The new Cabinet will be made available to all relevant agencies to coordinate efforts to resolve the Libyan case.
According to Conte, the crisis in Libya is a strategic issue for Italy, and he himself is in constant contact with all parties to the conflict in Libya.
Paris Still Wishes Haftar to Take Charge in Libya Despite Denials
Earlier, a French diplomatic source rejected claims that Paris was on the side of Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army troops in the current conflict, reiterating French support for the UN-backed Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and denying that it had advance knowledge of Haftar’s plans to launch an offensive on Tripoli.
But France would like to see the return of ‘stability and order’ in Libya under Marshal Haftar, The Libya Observer has reported, citing a French Foreign Ministry source speaking to Le Monde.
According to the source, despite appearances, there is no ambiguity in Paris’ attitude toward Haftar, with the marshal seen as ‘part of the solution’ in Libya since his forces control over 80 percent of the war-torn country’s territory.
Le Monde characterised France’s position on the LNA’s Tripoli offensive as “the ambiguous official French position,” pointing to French-Italian tensions on the Libyan issue over Paris’ quiet support to Haftar starting in 2016 under the justification of the common fight against terrorism, with these efforts becoming particularly prescient following the 2015 Paris attacks.
Haftar’s forces have played a key role in efforts to cleanse the areas of Libya under the control of the Tobruk-based government of terrorists, defeating not only Daesh (IS) and al-Qaeda, but also so-called ‘moderate’ Islamist forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
Speaking to Le Monde, Wolfram Lacher of the German Institute of International Affairs & Security think tank suggested that contrary to French leaders’ recent claims, Paris was “not surprised by the Haftar offensive on Tripoli.” Just as importantly, Lacher noted, Paris, unlike Berlin and Washington, avoided making a “unilateral declaration” about Haftar’s role in the latest skirmishes. “France has invested too much in Haftar, and does not want to lose her investment,” the researcher stressed.