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Forces loyal to the UN-backed government prepare to deploy to the front line in Tripoli Forces loyal to the UN-backed government prepare to deploy to the front line in Tripoli 

Calls for truce in Libya as thousands flee Tripoli

Thousands of people have fled Tripoli since fighting broke out near Libya’s capital last Thursday, as the US and the EU call for an immediate truce.

By Devin Watkins

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator, Maria do Valle Ribeiro, said 2,800 people have been displaced by fighting near Tripoli and that many civilians are cut off from emergency services.

The United States, the European Union, and the United Nations have all voiced calls for a ceasefire in Libya.

Clashes near Tripoli

At least 47 people have been killed and dozens others wounded in clashes between the forces of General Khalifa Haftar and the UN-backed government.

Forces under General Khalifa Haftar launched an attack on the capital Tripoli last Thursday, with the aim of taking the city.

Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, head of the internationally-recognized government, has accused the general of attempting a coup.

General Haftar’s forces are attacking Tripoli from the south and west. His Libyan National Army carried out its first air strike on Sunday, and has seized the capital’s former international airport.

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Calls for truce

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Sunday that the US is “deeply concerned” about the fighting.

He urged the two sides to halt military operations immediately and to start peace talks.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, also called for a truce in Libya and a return to political negotiations.

Stockpiled aid

With more than 2,800 civilians already displaced, the UN says continued clashes could force many more to flee.

It said aid agencies on the ground had emergency medical supplies and trauma kits to treat 210,000 individuals and 900 injuries for 3 months.

Talks in doubt

UN-backed talks between rival administrations in the east and west were scheduled to take place on April 14-16. The goal was to draw up a road map for new elections.

Ghassan Salame, the UN’s special envoy, said talks in the Libyan city of Ghadames would go ahead.

General Haftar has said his troops will not stop their assault on Tripoli.

08 April 2019, 15:17