Swiss call for political solution to Libya fighting

Damage after overnight shelling on the southern district of Abu Salim in Tripoli, Keystone/Stringer

The Swiss government has urged all parties in the military conflict in Libya to agree to a truce that would allow humanitarian operations to proceed. and Reuters/ug

“A peaceful transition in Libya can only be achieved through dialogue and an inclusive political solution,” the foreign ministry said. 

The situation of the migrants held in detention centres near the combat zones around the capital, Tripoli, is particularly difficult, according to the statement, which was published in the wake of heavy attacks earlier this week. 

More than 200 people have been killed, including about 20 civilians, and nearly 1,000 others injured in fighting, according to the World Health Organization. 

Military forces led by Khalifa Haftar and a rival government in the east of the country have been attacking militias affiliated with the UN-supported government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj for the past two weeks. 

Italy, with considerable oil interests in Libya, supports Serraj, bringing tensions with France which has backed Haftar in the past. 

International efforts

Switzerland called on all sides to ensure the protection of the civilian population and condemns the use of heavy artillery which have hit medical centres and schools around Tripoli. 

It urged all members of the international community to join in United Nations efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. 

The foreign ministry says Switzerland will remain active in Libya through peacebuilding and humanitarian aid operations, supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross and other organisations active in the country. 

Last year, Switzerland took in a first group of refugees as part of a humanitarian emergency operation to evacuate endangered migrants from Libyan detention centres.

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