Ministry of Transport of the UN-backed Libyan government on Tuesday denied the remarks of UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame about the military use of M’etiga international airport in the capital Tripoli.
“Ministry of Transport is surprised about the remarks of the UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame during a UN Security Council session regarding the use of the Government of National Accord to M’etiga international airport for military purposes,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry confirmed that the airport is only used for civil aviation as an international port.
“The repeated targeting of the airport has affected civilian facilities and aircraft. It endangers the safety of travelers and workers, obstructs the transportation movement, and causes great losses to the civil aviation and transportation,” the statement explained.
During a recent UN Security Council session, Salame called on Libyan parties to “cease using the airport for military purposes and for the attacking forces.”
M’etiga airport has been targeted numerous times by shelling recently, causing suspension of flights.
The army, led by Khalifa Haftar, has been leading a military campaign since early April to take over Tripoli from the government.
The fighting so far has killed more than 1,000 people, injured more than 5,700 others, and forced over 120,000 people to flee their homes, according to the World Health Organization.
The army is allied with the east-based government, as the north African nation is politically divided between eastern and western governments.
Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.