UN welcomes resumption of flights to southern Libya

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has welcomed the Libyan authorities’ decision to allow resumption of flights to the southern part of the country, while condemning the arrest of individuals at Tripoli’s international airport by armed groups.

“The UNSMIL welcomes the decision by the Civil Aviation Authority on November 4 to permit the resumption of flights to all airports in the Southern region of Libya,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Mission as saying in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said the decision is a product of the confidence built as a result of the October 23 ceasefire agreement and the follow-up talks of the Joint Military Commission in the Ghadames city on November 2-4.

Meanwhile, the mission expressed concern over the recent arrest of individuals coming from eastern Libya to Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport.

From November 1-5, “a number of individuals from the east who travelled to Tripoli were arbitrarily arrested by armed groups,” which violated “Libya’s obligations under international law”, UNSMIL said.

On November 6, the Interior Ministry of Libya’s UN-backed government condemned the arrest of individuals, confirming that those who made the arrests are not affiliated with the ministry and ordering an investigation into the incident.

According to the National Committee for Human Rights in Libya, the nationals were arrested because of their origins, social backgrounds, and political opinions and positions.

The eastern-based army and the Tripoli-based UN-backed government engaged in a deadly armed conflict for more than a year in and around Tripoli, which ended recently with the UN-backed government taking over all of western Libya after the withdrawal of the eastern-based army.

The Libyan parties signed a UN-sponsored permanent cease-fire agreement in Geneva on October 23.