Tripoli's Mitiga Airport reopens, Libyan Transportation Ministry announces

Tripoli's Mitiga Airport reopens, Libyan Transportation Ministry announces

October 29, 2019 - 19:31
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The Libyan Minister of Transportation Milad Matoug announced Tuesday resuming work at the Tripoli-based Mitiga Airport gradually after almost two months of closure.

The announcement came in a joint press conference with the Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha and UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame in Tripoli.

"The resumption will be gradual and after preparing work is done at the international departure lounge. It could take two weeks to resume normal operations." Matoug said.

He added that the ministry had asked the UNSMIL to ensure some measures taken by the international community regarding the airport, stressing that the airport is a civilian one for all Libyans.

Meanwhile, Salame said upon inspection, the UNSMIL confirms that Mitiga Airport is not being used for military purposes.

"The civilian boundary of the airport has been marked and there is no excuse for any party to use it as target for military operations." Salame said, referring to Khalifa Haftar's forces that have raided and shelled the airport many times since last April.

Salame said the UN will have its own flights from Mitiga Airport via a secure travel zone that could also be used by diplomats in Libya and the voluntary repatriation of illegal immigrants from Libya.

"The presence of the UNSMIL inside Mitiga Airport will give it a civilian status and thus block any unjustified attacks." Salame said.

The Libyan Interior Minister reiterated that the airport doesn't harbor any military operations, adding that the interior ministry forces will secure the airport and that any party attacking it would be committing a war crime.