UN mission urges maximum restraint after deadly clashes in Tripoli

New York, US PANA) – The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has strongly condemned the violence which took place in the capital, Tripoli, on Friday and Saturday that led to the loss of civilian lives and called for maximum restraint and an end to bloodshed in the country.

At least 43 people were  killed and hundreds wounded during the clashes between militias and protesters, the latest violence to hit the North African nation, which has been facing worsening security in recent months.

The initial violence occurred in the suburb of Tajoura and it involved local militiamen and fighters from Misrata, some 200 kms east of Tripoli.

The condemnation followed a similar statement by the African Union, which is also calling for restraint.

The statement, obtained by PANA in New York on Saturday, called for an immediate end to the violence and support for the efforts by the authorities to restore calm, stop the bloodshed and ensure security and stability for all Libyans.

It urged Libyans to exercise maximum restraint and resort to peaceful means to resolve their differences.

It affirmed the right to peaceful protest and the right of people to express their views freely, stressing that attacks against civilians and endangering their lives were acts that were totally rejected.

The mission also reiterated "the need for concerted efforts by all at this delicate stage of the democratic transition to create a conducive environment in order to focus on the priorities of state-building which will ensure sustainable security and peace for all Libyans".

UNSMIL has been supporting the efforts of the Libyan government and people to ensure the success of the democratic transition process, which has been under way since the toppling of Muammar Kadhafi two years ago.

The Chairperson of the Commission of the AU, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, in a statement said she was was “shocked and saddened” by the acts of violence which occurred in Tripoli on 15 and 16 November 2013, resulting in the death of dozens of people, while many more were wounded.

“The Chairperson of the Commission is deeply concerned at the increasing violence and lawlessness in the country, including a series of similar incidents in Benghazi and other cities in recent weeks,” it said.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma condemned the resort to violence by armed militias, in general, and against peaceful protesting civilians, in particular.

"The Chairperson of the Commission, once again, urges all Libyan stakeholders to resolve their political differences through dialogue and within the framework of the existing institutions,” she said.
-0- PANA AA/MA 17Nov2013

17 november 2013 15:31:54

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