18:14 GMT18 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Libya is "on the verge of descending" into civil war and, since the situation escalated in early April, there has been death and destruction, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Ghassan Salame said.

    "Forty-eight days into the attack on Tripoli by General Haftar’s forces, there has already been too much death and destruction. Libya is on the verge of descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country. The damage already done will take years to mend, and that’s only if the war is ended now", he said.

    READ MORE: Libya's UN-Backed Government Head Sarraj to Meet With Macron on Wednesday

    According to the official, the consequences of the conflict are already "painfully clear".

    "Over 460 dead, 29 of them civilians. Over 2400 injured, the majority of them civilians. Over 75,000 people forced from their homes, all of them civilians. Over half of the displaced are women and children. Humanitarian actors estimate that over 100,000 men, women and children remain trapped in immediate frontline areas, with over 400,000 more in areas directly impacted by the clashes", he stated.

    Tensions flared up in Libya in early April. Back then, the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to retake Tripoli from the forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA). The LNA has already recaptured a number of settlements on its way to the capital.

    Libya is currently divided into two parts — the internationally recognized GNA headed by Fayez Sarraj in Tripoli and a parallel administration allied to Haftar in the east of the country.

    READ MORE: LNA Says Haftar-Led Air Forces Destroyed GNA's Operation Headquarters in Libya


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    risks, civil war, Ghassan Salame, Libya
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