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UN calls for withdrawal of foreign troops, mercenaries from Libya

AFP logo AFP 3/13/2021 AFP
a person sitting on a bench: Some 20,000 mercenaries and foreign fighters were estimated to be still in Libya in early December © Mahmud TURKIA Some 20,000 mercenaries and foreign fighters were estimated to be still in Libya in early December

The United Nations Security Council called on Friday for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya "without further delay" in a unanimously approved declaration.

It also welcomed the Libyan parliament's approval of a new unified government on Wednesday, which is set to lead the oil-rich country to December elections after a decade of conflict following the removal of dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

"The Security Council calls on all parties to implement the ceasefire agreement in full and urges Member States to respect and support the full implementation of the agreement," the statement approved by all 15 council members said.

According to the global body, around 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries remained in Libya at the end of 2020, and no withdrawals have been observed since.


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"The Security Council calls for full compliance with the UN arms embargo by all Member States, in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions," the text said.

The arms embargo imposed since the NATO-led mission to overthrow Kadhafi has been violated regularly for years, according to UN experts responsible for its implementation.

Their annual report is expected in the coming days.

The experts have previously denounced the presence in Libya of Russian mercenaries, Turkish troops and armed groups made up of Syrians, Chadians and Sudanese.

"The Security Council recognizes the need to plan for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of armed groups, security sector reform and to establish an inclusive, civilian-led security architecture for Libya as a whole," the statement added.

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