The UN chief also expressed his shock at the recent discovery of mass graves in territory recently recaptured from Haftar's militia.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told putschist Khalifa Haftar on Wednesday that there can be no military solution to the conflict he launched in April 2019 against the UN-supported government in the capital, Tripoli.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Haftar called the secretary-general and they discussed current developments in the oil-rich country, which saw his fighters retreat from Tripoli last month.
Guterres also spoke to Libya’s UN-backed prime minister, Fayez al Sarraj, who indicated his commitment to a dialogue within the Libyan Joint Military Commission “and expressed his interest in a political solution based on elections," Dujarric said.
'Only political' solution
The secretary-general told Haftar that “the solution can only be political, and Libyan-owned and Libyan-led,” and he reaffirmed the UN commitment to talks between the two sides in the Libyan Joint Military Commission, Dujarric said.
The UN chief also reiterated his shock at the recent discovery of mass graves in territory recently recaptured from Haftar's militia “and stressed the need for full respect of international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” the spokesman said.
In his call with Sarraj, Guterres also expressed shock at the recent discovery of mass graves “and stated that the United Nations was ready to assist in efforts to ensure accountability, Dujarric said.
Dujarric said that in his conversation with warlord Haftar, Guterres “indicated his commitment to help find a solution for the reopening of blocked oil terminals and oil fields in the country.”
He said the secretary-general and Sarraj “also discussed the need to reopen blocked oil terminals and oil fields in the country."
Guterres also reiterated UN support to Libya's government in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in his call with the prime minister, Dujarric said.
The UN said June 12 that at least eight mass graves had been discovered, mostly in Tarhuna, a key western town that served as the main stronghold for Khalifa’s militia in their 14-month campaign to capture Tripoli. The discoveries raised fears about the extent of human rights violations in territories controlled by Haftar’s milita, given the difficulties of documentation in an active war zone.
Haftar’s failed campaign to capture the capital has led to a humanitarian crisis, with 1 million people in need of aid and almost a half million people internally displaced.
The Prime Minister indicated his commitment to a dialogue within the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission and expressed his interest in a political solution based on elections.
'Stabbed in the back'
In the meantime, the UN's former Libya envoy Ghassan Salame attacked the world body's Security Council, saying he had been "stabbed in the back" and accusing member states of "hypocrisy".
Salame announced his resignation in March, citing health reasons, nearly three years after taking up the post.
Speaking to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), a Swiss-based private diplomacy organisation, Salame said on Wednesday he had felt "irrelevant" and "stabbed in the back by most of the Security Council members because, the day he attacked Tripoli, Haftar had most of them supporting him."
The former Lebanese culture minister and professor of international relations was appointed UN envoy in June 2017 and had struggled to bring Haftar and Libya's UN-recognised unity government together for peace talks.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The Government of National Accord (GNA) was founded in 2015 under an UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar’s fighters.
The GNA has been under attack by Haftar's militias since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.
Haftar is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, while the GNA is aided by Qatar, Italy and Turkey.
The GNA forces with Turkish support gained the upper hand in the war in early June after retaking the capital’s airport, all main entrance and exit points to the city and a string of key towns near Tripoli. They are pushing to retake the strategic city of Sirte, which could allow them to gain control of oil fields and facilities in the south that Haftar seized earlier this year as part of his offensive on Tripoli.
Egypt warned that it would intervene militarily if forces loyal to the UN-backed government attacked Sirte, leading Italy, Germany and the United States to call for a cease-fire and de-escalation of tensions in Libya last week.
The Tripoli-based government said it considered Sisi’s comments a “declaration of war,” while those in the east welcomed his support.
On Friday, Libya’s National Oil Corporation said Russian and other foreign mercenaries entered the country’s largest oil field, describing the development as an attempt to thwart the resumption of halted oil production.