Ongoing Libya conflict ‘deeply troubling’: UN official

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The situation in war-torn Libya is “deeply troubling,” a United Nations representative said Sunday, warning that a fragile truce was hanging “by a thread” as daily life in the North African country worsens.

Speaking after talks with foreign ministers in the German city of Munich, the UN’s deputy special representative to Libya Stephanie Williams said that over 150 violations had been reported since last month’s ceasefire was agreed.

She also slammed the ongoing breaches of a much-abused UN weapons embargo, even after foreign countries agreed in January to stop meddling in a conflict that has dragged in major regional rivals.

“The situation on the ground remains deeply troubling. The truce is holding only by a thread,” Williams said on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

“It is the Libyan people that continue to suffer the most. The economic situation continues to deteriorate, exacerbated by the oil blockade.”

Libya has been mired in chaos since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with two rival administrations vying for power.

The conflict deepened when military leader Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of the south and east of Libya, seized Tripoli, the base of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

States including Russia, France, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt support Haftar, while the GNA is backed by Turkey and Qatar.

World leaders agreed at a Berlin summit last month to end all meddling in the conflict and stop the flow of weapons into Libya, but little has changed on the ground since then.

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