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Guterres to Security Council: ‘Time Not on Our Side in Libya’
Supporters of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar gather in Benghazi on July 5 to protest against Turkish intervention in the country's affairs on behalf of the Government of National Accord. (Abdullah Doma/AFP via Getty Images)

Guterres to Security Council: ‘Time Not on Our Side in Libya’

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is warning that the civil war raging in Libya for the past several years has “entered a new phase” in which foreign interference has reached “unprecedented levels, including in the delivery of sophisticated equipment and… mercenaries involved in the fighting.” In a video-conferenced address to the Security Council late Wednesday, Guterres alluded to the involvement of fighters backed by Russia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, among others. “We are very concerned about the alarming military build-up… in violation of the UN arms embargo [and] UN Security Council resolutions,” he said, stressing: “Time is not on our side in Libya.” Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been ravaged by armed conflicts between two sides vying for power: the UN-recognized, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, and the self-styled, Benghazi-based Libyan National Army led by renegade general Khalifa Haftar. According to Guterres, the past three months alone have seen some 30,000 Libyans forced to flee their homes, bringing the total number of displaced civilians to about 400,000.

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