Salvini denies Italian military intervention in Libya

ROME – Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has strongly denied reports that Italy will intervene with their special forces in Libya, following many days of violence in Tripoli, political officials said Tuesday.

 “I am firmly denying talk of an Italian military intervention which won’t resolve anything. Others should understand this,” said Salvini as he left the Chigi Palace. “Italy should be the leader in bringing peace in Libya. Others have acted in their own interests, not in the interest of the common good and peace. I am worried. I think there is someone behind this. Someone has started a war that they shouldn’t have done, someone has called elections without listening to their local partners and areas, someone is imposing themselves whilst ignoring democracy – actions that never work. I hope a ceasefire happens soon. I am in direct contact with our men – the military, diplomats, staff at the ENI (an Italian oil and gas company) who are living in Libya’s danger due to a senseless military intervention.”

 As rebels advance and fight 6 kilometres from Tripoli, Italians in the city are currently not in danger, but there is a risk of escalation. Salvini has also attacked France for the situation in their country. “Libya isn’t a secure port? Try asking that in Paris,” he said.

 The Foreign Minister Enzo Moaver Milanesi has emphasised the “full Italian support for lawful Libyan institutions and on the level of the UN. Italy condemns violence and desires a peaceful solution.”

  Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Fayex’s council has ordered the Anti-Terrorism Force in Misrata, lead by General Mohammed Al Zain, to enter the capital to organise a new ceasefire and end the violence in the southern suburbs of the capital.

  The news follows another difficult 8 days in Libya in which at least 47 people have been killed and 129 injured, according to the Libyan Military of Health. Yesterday, Tripoli saw many clashes between military groups, in which two people were killed in a refugee camp in Tawergha, whilst around 400 prisoners escaped from a prison outside Tripoli taking advantage of the ongoing fights, according to Libyan police.

 “We call on all parties in Libya to cease hostilities immediately, there is no military solution to the situation in Libya, only politics,” said a spokesman for the European Commission. “The escalation of violence undermines an already fragile situation. Violence can only bring about violence which is detrimental for Libyans.”

 cb