Guterres Calls for Withdrawal of Foreign Fighters from Libya

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On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the withdrawal of thousands of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya.

“It’s essential that all foreign troops and all foreign mercenaries move first to Benghazi and Tripoli, and from there move back and leave the Libyans alone, because the Libyans have already proven that, left alone they are able to address their problems,” he said.

The Security Council discussed the situation on Thursday, and in a statement called for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries “without further delay.” As well as for all Libyan and international actors to respect the arms embargo and ceasefire agreement.

Libya has been divided since 2014 between the western-based Government of National Accord (GNA), and Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

The rival administrations agreed to a ceasefire in October, but have not pulled back fighters from the final contact lines. Haftar is supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, and the GNA is backed by Turkey and Qatar.