The military attack launched by Khalifa Haftar on the Libyan capital of Tripoli and the ensuing escalation of the security situation in the country are taking toll on civilians including the most vulnerable groups such as migrants and refugees. As the renewed tensions and fighting are disrupting the UN-led political process with the risk of spilling over across the region, the European Union and its member states have repeatedly called on all parties to halt all the military activity. The forces that have moved into Tripoli are called upon to withdraw and make place for humanitarian convoys.
The EU reminds the parties involved in the confrontation that they must heed international humanitarian law and those who will breach it will be held accountable. The EU is seeking to exert its influence and send the message to the parties involved that there is no military solution to the conflict. Brussels is also concerned about the involvement of terrorist and criminal elements in the fighting. EU leaders strongly urge all parties to come back to the political dialogue and engage with the UN efforts.
The conflict in Libya began as part of the Arab Spring protests of 2011, which led to a civil war and a foreign military intervention. The aftermath of the 2011 fighting and proliferation of armed groups led to a renewal of the conflict in 2014, prompting increasing instability and violence across the country. Both civil wars had a substantial negative impact on Libya’s oil industry, with production collapsing to a small fraction of its typical levels and most facilitates routinely being blockaded or damaged by rival factions.