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Libyan parties urged to stop hostilities, focus on fighting COVID-19

Thursday - March 26, 2020 8:53 am , Category : WORLD
Tripoli, March 26 (IANS) The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has urged on Libyan parties to stop all hostilities and focus on fighting the novel coronavirus instead.
"While the whole world is engaged in fighting the spread of COVID-19, which has overwhelmed several well-resourced countries, attacks and counter attacks in Libya continue to inflict further suffering and civilian casualties," Xinhua news agency quoted the UMSMIL as saying in a statement on Wednesday.
"UNSMIL calls for an immediate de-escalation, including cessation of hostilities, demobilization of forces, and stopping the influx of foreign fighters and weapons.
"Libyans need to shift their focus to the fight against COVID-19," the statement said.
The UMSMIL reminded all parties in Libya of their obligations in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the protection of civilians.
Tripoli, the capital, has been plagued by a deadly armed conflict between the UN-backed government and the east-based army over control of the city since last year.
Although both parties have announced their acceptance of international calls for halting all military actions to fight the virus, they have been trading accusations over truce breaches and targeting civilians in Tripoli.

--IANS ksk/

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