UN alarmed at increasing attacks on civilians in Libya

The UN mission for Libya (UNSMIL) today condemned the increase in attacks against civilian areas in Tripoli, and in particular the bombardment on Thursday in the capital neighborhood of Zawiat al-Dahmani in which two civilians died and two more were wounded and that it is attributed to the forces under the command of Marshal Jalifa Hafter, guardian of the unrecognized government in eastern Libya and strongman of the country.

"UNSMIL will continue documenting violations to be shared, when appropriate, with the Panel of Experts and the International Criminal Court," he warned in a statement in which he also expressed his "alarm at the intensification of indiscriminate attacks at a time when the Libyans deserve to peacefully observe the holy month of Ramadan and a time when they are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These despicable actions are a direct challenge to calls by some Libyan leaders to end the protracted struggle and to resume political dialogue," he said.

"These attacks show a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law and human rights law and may constitute war crimes. All parties to the conflict must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including compliance with the principles of distinction , proportionality and precautions in attacks to prevent civilian victims, "he concluded.

Libya is a failed state, a victim of chaos and civil war, since in 2011 NATO contributed militarily to the victory of the various rebel groups over the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi.

Since in April 2019, Hafter - who supports Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia - surrounded the capital to take it from the Government of the National Agreement supported by the UN (GNA) - which is supported by Italy, Qatar and Turkey-, the fratricidal confrontation has turned into a privatized multinational conflict without Armies, fought by local militias and foreign mercenaries.

In the last year alone, more than 1,700 people - around 350 civilians - have died, nearly 17,000 have been injured and around 200,000 have been forced to flee their homes and become internally displaced persons.


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