Civil Society actors in Libya as well as Cordaid and Human Security Collective strongly condemn the recent clashes in Tripoli and surroundings that are occurring since April 4th 2019. We urgently continue to call all involved parties to cease fire and to provide safe pathways and protection to civilians that are currently trapped in the affected areas.
(City centre of Tripoli. © Nader ElGadi)
The recent escalation of violence between general Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and the UN-backed Government of National Accord led by Mr. Fayez al-Sarraj resulted in numerous battlefields throughout Tripoli. Many of them take place in or around residential areas. The current clashes, which intensified after the move of the LNA to launch an offensive on Tripoli on April 4th, is the most recent escalation of a protracted conflict.
Civilians trapped between fighting forces
Both sides carry out indiscriminate rocket attacks and airstrikes on heavily populated areas. Random shootings and targeting of civilians, which are a breach of international humanitarian law, continue to devastate and displace thousands of families. Many civilians have found themselves trapped between fighting forces, have had to evacuate their houses and run for their safety. There are limitations in the supply of water and there is hardly any electricity, limiting also communication in the capital. Since the offence started 3 weeks ago 32,000 civilians have been displaced, 1,266 wounded and 264 killed, according to the World Health Organization (figures of April 24th). Also, humanitarian workers are being targeted, leading to the killing of two Red Crescent doctors who were trying to evacuate wounded civilians.
“We are very alarmed by the ongoing violence in Libya”, says Sabina Atzei, from Cordaid’s Security&Justice unit. “We express our concerns and underline the urgent need to work towards a ceasefire and long-term inclusive peace”, she concludes.
Read the full statement here, with clear calls for action by both Libyan and international parties.