Ambassadors from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA – have warned that fighting in the south, in particular around Tamenhint, could result in an escalation of the conflict in Libya.
There was a complete difference between action against terrorists and that which could lead to a further deterioration of the situation in the country, they said.
“We call for full de-escalation on the basis of broad inclusive political dialogue and avoiding provocative actions”, their statement read.
It is just the second time that the five ambassadors have agreed a joint statement on Libya. The previous one was a fortnight ago when they said that Libya’s oil industry had to remain under the exclusive control of the National Oil Corporation.
In the latest declaration, the group also referred to the UN resolution 2278 that extended measures to prevent the illicit smuggling of fuel out of Libya. They expressed, too, their “determination “ to continue support for the Libyan Political Agreement.
Misrata’s Third Force continues to hold Tamenhint airbase, near Sebha, despite a siege by Khalifa Hafter’s Libyan National Army (LNA). The Presidency Council’s (PC) defence minister, Al-Mahdi Al-Bargathi, has meanwhile ordered his forces to fight both the LNA in the south and remnants of the so-called Islamic State still in the area.