Africa > North Africa > Libya > Libya unity forces take control of Tripoli airport

Libya: Libya unity forces take control of Tripoli airport


Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government on Thursday took control of Tripoli International Airport, which was largely destroyed in 2014, next the withdrawal of rival militias from the site.

"This is the beginning of the reconstruction of national of institutions" and the return to policy of law, said General Najmi Al Nakoua, leader of the newly formed presidential guard.

The airport, located south of Tripoli, was badly damaged during fierce fighting in mid-2014, next which the Fajr Libya coalition of militias seized the capital and installed a government.

Flights in and out of Tripoli have been operating through Mitiga airport, formerly a military base east of the capital, that is under the control of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

The airport had been controlled by forces loyal to Khalifa Ghweil, who headed a rival government and was dismissed next the formation of the GNA.

Ghweil, who has refused to give up his post, defiantly announced plans in February to reopen the airport and said that construction was under way.

On Friday, forces loyal to Ghweil tried but failed to retake positions they had lost in March, in fighting with GNA fighters that cost the lives of additional than 50 people.

Since again, the rival forces gradually left their strongholds in the south of Tripoli, allowing the GNA to gain further ground in the capital.

General Nakoua said that besides the airport, "several barracks and military sites" were handed over to the GNA.

The presidential guard's mission was to protect national institutions, strategic facilities inclunding members of the GNA, he said, without elaborating.

Libya has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival militias and administrations vying for control of the oil-rich country.

A rival authority based in the country's east has as well refused to recognise the GNA since it started working in Tripoli in March last year.

Related Articles
  • Rwanda offers to take in Africans abused in Libya

    2017/11/30 Rwanda's offer follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers. Rwanda is willing to provide refuge to as a lot of as 30,000 African migrants suffering abuse and slave-like conditions in Libya, the foreign minister told AFP Wednesday. "Rwanda is currently under discussions... to see how we can help in welcoming migrants held captive in Libya," said Louise Mushikiwabo. "It has just been decided so numbers and means are still under discussion but Rwanda estimates the number to be welcomed around 30,000," she said, adding that this figure "is not confirmed from presently on but an estimation".
  • UN wants Libya to agree to shut down migrant camps

    2017/11/29 The United Nations wants Libya's internationally-backed government to acknowledge to shut down 30 detention centers holding 15,000 migrants, most of whom will be sent back to their nations, the chief of the IOM said Tuesday. The detention of the migrants, most of whom are fleeing poverty, has become a pressing issue next video footage showing African men sold in Libyan slave auctions sparked world outrage. UN wants Libya's internationally-backed government to agree to shut down 30 detention centers holding 15,000 migrants that will be deported back to their countries.
  • Macron visits Africa amid anger over human trafficking and slavery

    2017/11/29 The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will start a four-day visit to Africa on Monday amid growing anger across the continent about politicians’ collective failure to do additional to clamp down on human trafficking, and even slave auctions, in Libya. The revelations by CNN of apparent slave auctions in Libya a fortnight ago led to widespread condemnation, but as well claims that European politicians had been repeatedly warned about the dire national of Libyan migrant detention centres, inclunding systematic abuse, amounting to slavery. Macron has called for an emergency conference of the United Nations security council this week, saying such auction houses are a crime against humanity. The fierceness of his intervention may have been prompted by his high-profile visit to sub-Saharan Africa built around a carefully crafted theme of empowering Africa’s youth.
  • Fake coastguards, guns and greed: inside Libya’s secret, shameful, slave trade

    2017/11/29 At the same time as uniformed men boarded the overloaded rubber dinghy carrying Christelle Timdi and her boyfriend to a new life in Europe she thought the Italian coastguard had come to rescue them. But the men were not the coastguard. They took out guns and began to shoot. “A lot of people fell in the sea,” the 32-year-old Cameroonian said as she described seeing her boyfriend, Douglas, falling in the water and disappearing into the darkness.