May 5, 2019 / 4:52 PM / 5 months ago

U.N. calls for a week-long humanitarian truce in Libyan capital

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - The United Nations called on Sunday for a week-long humanitarian truce in Libya where forces loyal to the eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar have been waging an offensive to take control of Tripoli for four weeks.

In a statement the U.N. Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) urged the warring sides to implement a truce starting Monday morning at 0400 local time to coincide with the beginning of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

“UNSMIL calls on all parties to deliver of humanitarian aid to those in need and to ensure the freedom of movement for civilians during this truce,” UNSMIL said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from Hafta’s Libyan National Army (LNA) force nor from the internationally recognized government in the capital.

Artillery shelling could be heard on Sunday coming from southern outskirts where the LNA has been tying to breach defenses by Tripoli forces.

The fighting has displaced around 50,000 people, the U.N. has said.

Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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