UN envoy confirms working to guarantee reopening of Tripoli international airport

The UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame confirmed on Tuesday that the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is working to guarantee the reopening of the Mitiga International Airport, which was closed after being hit by shelling.

Salame made the remarks at the end of a visit to the airport, along with Minister of Transport Milad Ma’tug and Minister of Interior Fat’hi Bashagha.

“Currently, we are working and intensifying our efforts to reach the maximum possible guarantees for the re-operation of the Mitiga airport. The visit of our team to Mitiga and Zuwara airports aimed to eliminate the argument for their military use,” Salame told a press conference.

“The recent bombing of the airport almost led to a real catastrophe. Our investigation will continue to find out who is responsible for the bombing, whom we do not know yet,” Salame said.

Salame also confirmed that he will address the UN Security Council, the Committee of Experts on Libya, and the International Criminal Court, to prosecute all those who targeted the airport.

The Libyan Civil Aviation Authority announced Monday that air traffic at Mitiga International Airport was suspended for security concerns until further notice.

The decision came less than 48 hours after Mitiga International Airport was hit by shelling that injured a few people and caused damage to an airplane.

The UN-backed government has been engaged in a deadly armed conflict since early April in and around Tripoli against the east-based army, which is trying to take over the city and overthrow the government.

Libya has been mired in insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.