News ID: 174040
Published: 0757 GMT December 18, 2016

UN urges national reconciliation in Libya

UN urges national reconciliation in Libya

The United Nations has urged the people of Libya to work for "national reconciliation" in the wake of an end to operations for the liberation of Sirte from the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

Martin Kobler, the UN secretary general's special representative and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said on Sunday that Libyans should "seize this opportunity to promote national reconciliation."

Speaking at a news conference in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, the UN officials called for "the integration and rehabilitation of fighters" and the collection of arms "to give way to a professional security apparatus with a unified command."

On Saturday, Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) officially announced the end of military operations in the city of Sirte.

The UN envoy hailed the seizure of Sirte as "a major step forward in liberating Libya from terrorism." He, however, warned that "Libyans should remain vigilant."

Kobler also underlined the need for demining Sirte to ensure the safe return of the displaced.

The UN-backed government in Libya started the large-scale military operations in May.

Daesh, which had captured Sirte more than a year ago, had taken advantage of a chaos gripping Libya since 2011, when a NATO military intervention followed the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Forces loyal to the GNA launched the final offensive to retake Sirte from Daesh on December 5. The city, located on the Mediterranean coast, was the main urban center that Daesh managed to seize outside Iraq and Syria.

The GNA has yet to fully establish its authority across Libya.

   
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