Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj reiterated Saturday that the Libyan problem could be solved through negotiations.
The crisis could be solved politically rather than military but as long as renegade commander Khalifa Haftar continues to target civilian settlements, negotiations could not continue, Sarraj told reporters in Tripoli. And he characterized as “war crimes” the warlord’s recent attacks targeting civilians.
At least 30 people were killed and 33 injured Jan. 5 when Haftar’s forces launched an airstrike on the dormitory of a military school in Tripoli, mainly targeting students.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
Libya’s legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar since last April, with more than 1,000 lives lost in the violence.
Warring parties announced a cease-fire Jan. 12 in response to a joint call by Turkey and Russia. However, talks for a permanent cease-fire ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow on Jan. 14 without signing a deal.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar