Libya: UN Security Council passes resolution to end war

UN Security Council Libyan war

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday evening passed a resolution aimed at ending the Libyan conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report put the total casualty figure at no fewer than 2,280, comprising 2,000 fighters and 280 civilians, by mid-January.

Coming after weeks of diplomatic consultations in the 15-member council, the United Kingdom-drafted resolution sailed through with 14 votes to zero, with Russia abstaining.

Among other provisions, it mandates a multinational operation to oversee a ceasefire in Libya, and demands an immediate end to the supply of arms to both parties in the conflict.

The resolution also demands a commitment to cessation of hostilities by all parties without preconditions, in line with terms agreed by their representatives at the Berlin conference in January.

However, observers have expressed doubt it will be respected, citing the failure of earlier resolutions including a UN arms embargo being flouted even by members of the council.

The Libyan war is between the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a loyalist of former strongman Muammar Gaddafi, and the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

It escalated in April following the launch of an offensive by the LNA to topple the weak government formed after the fall of Gaddafi in 2011.

The resolution came hours after LNA forces blocked UN flights from operating to and from Libya, thereby hampering humanitarian and peace efforts, and fuelling doubts about the UN’s ability to end the fighting.

However, it reaffirms strong support for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and recognises the key role of the African Union and the League of Arab States to end the fighting.(NAN)

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