The European Union and the United Nations condemned A car bomb attack that took place in front of a shopping mall in the Libyan city of Benghazi on 10 August left three UN workers dead and three others injured, along with dozens of innocent passersby.
United Nations‘ chief António Guterres said in a statement issued by his spokesperson that he condemned the attack “in the strongest terms”, extending his deepest condolences to the bereaved families.
“Today’s attack in Benghazi…is contemptible and a further worrying development in the Libyan crisis,” the EU said following UN’s condemnation. “It is crucial that all Libyan parties abide by the truce brokered by UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé and build on it to achieve a lasting ceasefire and a return to political negotiations.”
The attack occurred as the country’s warring sides said they had accepted a cease-fire proposed by the United Nations aimed at stopping combat in the capital, Tripoli, during the ongoing Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha.
The Benghazi municipal council said the attack had targeted a convoy for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. The UN had been trying to broker a truce in the capital Tripoli, where the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by warlord Khalifa Haftar launched a surprise attack in April.
The government in Tripoli had accepted a UN proposal for a ceasefire during the Eid holiday, however, it remains unclear whether the fighting in the capital would actually cease in the wake of the Benghazi attack.
Haftar was once a favoured general of deposed former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, but who later fell out with the latter after being defeated by neighbouring Chad during the two countries’ numerous clashes in the 1980s. He previously counted the US and Italy among his most enthusiastic backers after successfully defeating the local al-Qaeda affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, and other Islamist groups that had taken over eastern Libya after Gaddafi’s ouster in 2011, but the support from Washington shifted suddenly earlier this year when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was handed the Libya portfolio and began drawing up plans for a US-enforced ceasefire that would include forcing Haftar to pull back from Tripoli.
The European Union, excluding France, have supported the Americans in their effort to take a lead role in guaranteeing a comprehensive ceasefire.