By Walid Abdullah
TRIPOLI, Libya (AA) – Libyan Defense Minister Salahaddin Namroush has threatened to withdraw from a ceasefire agreement in Libya over practices of warlord Khalifa Haftar.
"We warn the UN and peace-supporting countries that if they don't curb war criminal Haftar and stop his recklessness, we may withdraw from the 5+5 military agreement,” Namroush said in statements cited by the media office of the government’s “Volcano of Rage” Operation.
“We will consider the ceasefire invalid if Haftar launches any military action,” he warned.
On Sunday, Haftar’s militia attacked a military camp in the southern town of Awbari, a move decried by Libya’s High Council of State as a new violation of the ceasefire by the eastern warlord.
"We question why the UN and international community remain silent on Haftar’s actions and threats to the ceasefire in southern Libya,” Namroush said.
Awbari, 964 km south of Tripoli, has a strategic importance given its close location to the Sharara oilfield, the country’s largest.
On Oct. 23, the UN announced a permanent ceasefire agreement between Libya’s warring rivals during its facilitated 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission talks in Geneva.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Based in the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement have failed due to a military offensive by Haftar.
Al-Sarraj's government has been battling Haftar's militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.
Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara