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NEWS / MIDDLE EAST

UN Security Council calls for 'lasting ceasefire' in Libya

The text, drafted by Britain, was approved by 14 votes out of 15, with Russia abstaining.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling for a "lasting ceasefire" in war-torn Libya, where a fragile truce has been in place since January.

The text, drafted by Britain, was approved by 14 votes out of 15, with Russia abstaining.

It was subject to weeks of wrangling, reflecting deep international divisions over Libya despite world leaders recently agreeing to end all foreign interference in the country and to uphold a weapons embargo.

The resolution affirmed "the need for a lasting ceasefire in Libya at the earliest opportunity, without pre-conditions."

It also expressed "concern over the growing involvement of mercenaries in Libya."

Russia had pushed to replace the word "mercenaries" with "foreign terrorist fighters."

Libya, Africa's most oil-rich nation, has been mired in chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Since April 2019, the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has fought back against an offensive by military commander Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

A ceasefire was agreed on January 12, but there are still near-daily clashes near Tripoli and arms continue to flow into the country.

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