The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BENGHAZI – The Libyan National Army (LNA) will resume its military operations in Tripoli after the Government of National Accord (GNA) rejected a Cairo-sponsored peace initiative, LNA spokesman General Brigadier Ahmed Al-Mesmari announced on Monday.
LNA had put its military operations in Tripoli on hold last week ahead of the announcement of a peace initiative by Egypt on Saturday, which proposed a ceasefire on June 8.
“The initiative was rejected by the other side, and therefore the military operations will be continued,” Al-Mesmari said during a press briefing.
“We support all international efforts to reach a political solution in Libya, and the armed forces pledge to continue fighting terrorist organizations and counter the Turkish invasion to restore security and stability in all of Libya,” he added.
LNA has been battling GNA armed groups for over a year, but the conflict soon turned into a military stalemate with both sides unable to take full control of Tripoli. The eastern-based army aims to rid the capital from armed groups and establish law and order.
GNA had previously claimed it will not go back to the negotiation table until LNA withdraws from Tripoli. However, after LNA did withdraw from the capital last week, GNA continued military offenses and attacked the cities of Tarhuna, Sirte, Jufra and Bani Walid.
Extrajudicial killings, looting and vandalism were reportedly committed by GNA armed groups in Tarhuna. The United Nations confirmed these reports in a statement on Sunday, adding that over 1,600 Libyans fearing abuse and retribution were displaced from Tarhuna and Greater Tripoli.
“Turkey-backed militias intentionally committed crimes against humanity,” Al-Mesmari said, adding that a displaced family of seven people was killed by these militias at the road connecting Jufra and Sirte.
Al-Mesmari held Turkey responsible for the crimes committed by its sponsored militias. The LNA spokesman also accused Turkey of exploiting its membership in NATO to violate the sovereignty of Libya.