Benghazi violence troubles United Nations

June 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, June 10 (UPI) -- The level of violence in the western Libyan port city of Benghazi is a deep concern to the United Nations, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya said.

Weekend clashes between demonstrators and armed militias left about 30 people dead in the western port city. Libyan military Chief of Staff Youssef al-Mangoush resigned Sunday in response to the protests. He was criticized for leading the response to demonstrators upset with the influence of militias, the Libya Herald reports.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said it called on all parties to the conflict to reject violence and embrace dialogue as a peaceful form of conflict resolution.

Libyan ministerial buildings had come under siege by armed gangs frustrated by the legacy of Moammar Gadhafi in post-war politics. A law banning Gadhafi-era leaders from political office was criticized as a concession to armed militias. Human rights groups criticized the measure because it was too broad.

UNSMIL said it was urging Libyans to respect democratic principles in the post-war climate.

"UNSMIL calls on all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and reiterates the necessity of resolving disagreements peacefully through dialogue and in a democratic spirit," a mission statement published Saturday said.

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