The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has said it regrets that its regular flights, which transport its staff to and from Libya, are not granted permission by Khalifa Haftar’s militias to land in Libya.
“This practice has been repeated on several occasions in the past weeks.” The UNSMIL said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added that the United Nations is very concerned that preventing its mission’s flights from traveling in and out of Libya will severely hinder its humanitarian and good offices effort at a time when all its staff are working relentlessly to push forward the ongoing three-track intra-Libyan dialogue and to provide the much-needed humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable conflict-affected civilians.
The Head of the UNSMIL Ghassan Salame told the Security Council in his January 30 briefing that Haftar’s militias had announced a no-fly zone that included Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, vowing to shoot down military and civilian aircraft.
Likewise, the spokesman for Haftar’s forces Ahmed Al-Mismari said in a presser in January that their forces had started a no-fly zone over Tripoli, threatening to down any aircraft violating the zone, be it civilian or military.