Libya opens airport after ceasefire deal

A view shows the empty Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, after it was suspended due to the clashes in the city

Tripoli’s only ‘functioning’ airport has re-opened following its one-week closure due to militia fighting in the Libyan capital.

The move comes after a ‘UN-brokered’ ceasefire between rival factions was announced late on Tuesday.

More than 60 people died in the clashes and over 100 were injured.

A fragile ceasefire is still holding, which encouraged airport officials to re-start operations. Libya’s transport minister said “flights will gradually resume”.

Afriquiyah Airlines, which has had many of its planes damaged by stray ammunition in sporadic violence over the years, says it will resume its flights on Saturday.

Over a week of fierce fighting between rival groups in parts of Tripoli saw stray ground-missiles land near the airport and on private property, which led to the airport’s closure.

As residents of the capital count the human and material cost of the recent violence, the city also saw a 24-hour blackout on Thursday, which is a stark increase from the usual daily average of eight hour power-cuts, according to residents there.

The State’s electricity company said the power was affected because of the violence.

Water supplies from the main pipelines are also cut off in the city.

Sammie Idika