Thursday 5th of March 2015
By Bjørn Ihler for the Global Alliance for Peace in Libya
Yesterday Libya Dawn launched airstrikes on Zintan and Mitiga. The strike in Zintan knocked out the runway lighting system, the airport announced that it would not be in service for the rest of the evening. As a result of the ongoing conflict the Libyan aviation sector warned the US of $250 million in annual losses.
The attack on Mitiga airport, by what is said to be a single government aricraft, was harmless according to the airport, and two explosions happened well away from buildings and the runway. The attack plane is said to have come from the north-west, which could indicate that it had taken off from Al-Wattiya airbase, south of Al-Jmail.
The Libya crisis is described as ‘festering’ by UN envoy which urges for decisive action to build national unity. The Secretary-Genereal’s Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Bernardino León spoke to the UN Security Council over videolink from Rome: “Libya can no longer afford to allow the political crisis and armed conflict that has gripped the country for much of the past year to fester. Unless Libya’s leaders act quickly and decisively, the risk to their country’s national unity and territorial integrity are real and imminent.”. “Libyan Stakeholders have expressed grave concern about the danger that terrorism poses to Libya’s security and stability and of the very limited capacities of the Libyan state to effectively confront this challenge”. This underlines the urgent need for peace between the parts in the conflict in order to close the power-vacuum that has made the growth of terrorist organisations in the country possible. The full briefing is available here: http://unsmil.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=3543&ctl=Details&mid=6187&ItemID=2007682&language=en-US
UNICEF in Tunis is currently working for the constitutional rights of children with the Libyan Constitutional Drafting Committee. Dr. Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Special Representative in Libya submitted a note on this to Dr. Ali Tarhouni, Chairperson of Libya’s constitutional Drafting Assembly during a meeting in Tunis, Tunisia. The note was welcomed and discussed further by members of the Freedoms, Rights and Transitional Measures Committee. The note wil be dstributed further to all members of the Constitutional Drafting Committee.
UNESCO is currently training thirty Libyan journalists residing in Tunisia in an intensive course in communication and English skills at the British Council in Tunis as part of a regional programme to promote freedom of expression.