Williams: Countries with troops or mercenaries in Libya challenge its sovereignty

Alwasat - Cairo Thu 21 Jan 2021, 01:43 AM
alwasat radio

The Acting Special Representative of the UN secretary-general for Libya, Stephanie Williams, said that foreign powers should withdraw troops and mercenaries from Libya as part of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement signed by the joint military commission on the 23rd of October 2020, considering that countries that retain troops in the country "challenge the sovereignty of Libya".

Speaking to the Guardian, Williams argued that foreign countries should withdraw all troops and mercenarie from Libyan territory, arguing that countries that had retained troops in Libya were "doing so in defiance of the country's sovereignty." Russia and Turkey have proxy forces in Libya in an effort to capitalize on the east-west conflict that has paralyzed the country since 2014, The Guardian reported.

Williams urged foreign powers to withdraw their troops from Libya, as stipulated in the ceasefire agreement which was agreed to by ten senior officers from both sides of the conflict at the joint military commission.

"The scheduled deadline for troop withdrawal was a sovereign Libyan decision taken by officers accountable to their commanders in the chain of command and to their commander-in-chief, who signed the ceasefire agreement," Williams said. "It is clear that if mercenaries remain on Libyan territory, they deny the will of the Libyan people."

"If the governments or states that have somehow facilitated the bringing of these mercenaries into Libya now refuse to withdraw them, they are essentially denying Libyan sovereignty," she said. "How can you describe yourself as a friend of Libya if you frustrate the will and demands of Libyan officials themselves?"

She continued: "It's not rocket science. If foreign troops are airlifted to Libya, they can be airlifted out." She noted that an estimated 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries are in Libya, "this is not a random guess, but based on conclusive evidence, and may even be a lower estimate than the actual number."

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