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UN denounces attack on court in Libya ahead of national vote


UN mission in Libya condemned gunmen attack on appeals court as it had to reconsider an earlier ruling that disqualified the son of the country’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi from running for president

CAIRO – The UN mission in Libya on Friday condemned an attack by gunmen on an appeals court as it was due to reconsider an earlier ruling that disqualified the son of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi from running for office. presidency.

On Thursday, gunmen surrounded the court in the southern city of Sabha and prevented judges from meeting to consider Seif al-Islam Gadhafi’s appeal. Previously, the country’s electoral body had ruled Seif al-Islam ineligible to participate in the presidential race scheduled for next month, citing his previous convictions.

Libya is due to hold the first round of presidential elections on December 24, after years of UN-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and end the country’s civil war. However, the upcoming vote faces many challenges, including unresolved issues regarding laws governing elections and occasional internal strife between armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep divide that remains between the east and west of the country and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and soldiers.

The oil-rich North African country is currently ruled by an interim government that was elected by Libyan delegates after UN-led talks in Geneva in February.

Acting Home Secretary Khaled Mazen has vowed to track down and prosecute the attackers in Thursday’s attack. He insisted that the transitional government is keen to secure the electoral process in order to encourage all Libyans to vote, according to the Libyan state news agency.

On Wednesday, Libya’s National High Election Commission decided to exclude Seif al-Islam from the race, citing his criminal record. He was sentenced to death by a Tripoli court in 2015 for using violence against protesters during a 2011 uprising against his father, but that decision has since been called into question by rival Libyan authorities. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity related to the uprising.

The announcement of his possible candidacy has sparked controversy across the divided country, where a number of other high-profile candidates have also emerged in recent weeks. Among them are the powerful military commander Khalifa Hifter and the country’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

“The Mission reiterates its call for the holding of transparent, fair and inclusive elections on December 24,” UNSMIL said.

The US Embassy in Libya also issued a statement on Friday expressing concern over the attack. He condemned the attack and stressed that the electoral process must be protected.

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ABC News

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