US URGES IMMEDIATE HALT TO MILITARY OPERATIONS IN LIBYA
08, Apr 2019
Prelims level : Mains level :
GS 3: International Events
Why in News?
The United States on April 7, 2019 called for an immediate halt to military operations in Libya as the Libyan National Army headed by Khalifa Haftar advanced on the nation’s capital, Tripoli.
- General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) forces have been carrying out a multi-pronged attack from the south and west of Tripoli since April 4.
- On April 7, LNA carried out its first air strike, a day after the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) hit them with air strikes on April 6.
- Around 11 people were killed and 23 wounded in clashes in southern Tripoli on April 7.
- The UN had appealed for a two-hour truce so casualties and civilians could be evacuated, but the fighting continued.
- International powers have begun evacuating personnel from Libya amidst the worsening security situation.
- While the US Africa Command, responsible for US military operations and liaison in Africa temporarily relocated its contingent due to increased unrest, India also evacuated its full contingent of 15 CRPF peacekeepers due to the worsening situation in Libya
- Libya has been torn by violence and political instability since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed by rebels in 2011.
- The crisis was triggered by the Arab Spring protests, a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in late 2010.
- The protests led to a civil war, which invited intervention from a multinational coalition led by NATO forces to protect civilians against attacks by the government’s forces.
- Gaddafi was ousted from power in the wake of the fall of Tripoli to the rebel forces in August 2011, although pockets of resistance held by forces loyal to Gaddafi’s government held out for another two months, especially in Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, which he declared as the new capital of Libya in September 2011.
- Gaddafi’s regime finally came to an end in October 2011 with Sirte’s capture and his killing by rebel fighters.
- The civil war’s aftermath and proliferation of armed groups led to violence and instability across the country, which erupted into renewed civil war in 2014 among rival groups seeking control of the territory of Libya.