International interference necessary for Libya: former official

Libya Conference
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Although the participants in the Libya conference agreed on Sunday to enhance arms embargo in the war-torn north African country, the ceasefire is temporary and the situation could worsen, said a former official with Libya’s  transitional government.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that all participants in the Libya Conference in Berlin have agreed to respect the arms embargo and truce in the North African country, which has been torn by fighting between rival armed factions since 2011.

Kemal Hozaifa, a former official with Libya’s transitional government, believes the international intervention is necessary under such a situation.

“The problem in Libya is that there is no mutual trust between the two parties of the conflict. Therefore international forces are in need to maintain peace, disarm or end the militias, and avoid interference of a single country,” he said.

So far, clashes in Libya have killed more than several thousand people and displaced over 170,000 Libyans. More than 220 schools were also forced to shut down.

Most recently, troops of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj have been under attack since April from the troops of Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA).

The Berlin Conference comes after the inter-Libyan talks held in Moscow on January 13 under the mediation of Russia and Turkey. Al-Sarraj and Haftar were both in Berlin but refused to sit or meet with each other as tensions remained and differences too great between the two sides.

“The two sides haven’t agreed to a permanent ceasefire and the ceasefire now is temporary. The situation could worsen any time,” said Hozaifa.

High-level representatives of Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, the Republic of the Congo, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, and the United States attended the conference, together with representatives of the UN, the African Union, the European Union, and the League of Arab States.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were among the participants.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, attended the conference as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special representative.