20 September 2015 The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Sunday strongly condemned the military escalation in Benghazi and called for an immediate ceasefire, stressing the need to give the ongoing political dialogue a chance to bring the country's conflict to an end.
“The timing of airstrikes clearly aims at undermining the ongoing efforts to end the conflict,” the Mission said of Saturday's escalation.
It noted that Benghazi has suffered for too long, with too many civilians having been killed or wounded and more than 100,000 having been displaced by the conflict that has raged in the city for over a year now. Residential neighbourhoods have been reduced to rubble, it added.
The airstrikes are “a clear attempt to undermine and derail the ongoing efforts to end the conflict” at a time when the negotiations currently taking place in Skhirat, Morocco, have entered “a final and most critical stage,” said the Mission.
“The only solution must be within the framework of the ongoing dialogue process and a political settlement that ensures inclusion, balance and consensus. The parties in Libya now have a historic opportunity to reach such an agreement that brings an end to the divisions and suffering, and allows for a new page to be turned in Libya,” it continued.
“UNSMIL calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Benghazi and across Libya, and on the warring parties to desist from any escalation or counterattack, and to exercise utmost restraint to give the ongoing dialogue in Skhirat the chance to successfully conclude in the coming hours.”
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