UN urges calm in Libya amid ‘dramatic turn of events’

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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has called for calm in Libya amid what it described as a “dramatic turn of events” leading to an increase in human rights violations across the country.

“Libya is witnessing a dramatic turn of events that underlines the urgent need to return to a full and inclusive political process that will meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for representative government, dignity, and peace,” said UNSMIL in a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday.

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The statement also warned against growing repression and violation of rights in the country.

“Across Libya, UNSMIL is registering an increase in reports of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and detention, restrictions placed on freedom of movement and expression, as well as on the right of peaceful assembly and protest,” read the statement.

Libya has been mired in civil conflict since the fall of dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011. Over the past months, clashes between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and the rival eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) have escalated after Turkish forces and mercenaries intervened on the side of the GNA.

The GNA is now set to attack the strategic city of Sirte in central northern Libya, prompting warnings from the LNA and its Egyptian backers that they would not let the city fall.

Protests have broken out against the GNA in the capital Tripoli in recent days, with demonstrators criticizing corruption and deteriorating living conditions.

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