UN warns of catastrophic results due to Libya conflicts
The persistent fighting in recent months between the armed groups in Libya has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, mass displacement and acute humanitarian conditions for those trapped in conflict zones, the UN warned Tuesday.
Tripoli: The persistent fighting in recent months between the armed groups in Libya has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, mass displacement and acute humanitarian conditions for those trapped in conflict zones, the UN warned Tuesday.
A report published jointly by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office documents indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, abduction of civilians, torture and reports of executions and deliberate destruction of property across the country, Xinhua reported.
The fighting between rival armed groups in western Warshefana area has killed an estimated 100 people and left 500 injured between late August and early October, forcing at least 120,000 people to flee their homes with severe shortages of food and medical supplies, the report said.
The fighting in Nafusa mountains bordering Warshefana has also resulted in 170 deaths, according to the report.
In the eastern city of Benghazi, 450 people have reportedly been killed since the fighting escalated in mid-October. Residents there are facing serious shortcomings in medical care as hospitals have been hit or occupied by the armed groups.
UNSMIL also received reports on fighters wearing uniforms of the Libyan Red Crescent Society and using one of its ambulances to carry out a suicide attack in Benghazi.
Tit-for-tat attacks on properties have also led to the destruction of many houses. More than 15,000 families have been displaced from Benghazi, the report added.
"Dozens of civilians have been abducted, solely for their actual or suspected tribal, family or religious affiliation, as hostages in order to exchange them for others held by the opposing side," the report said.
Political and human rights activists, media professionals and other public figures have been targetted by armed groups,and many of them have been abducted, threatened or their homes have been looted or burned, the report added.
The Special Representative of the secretary-general for Libya, Bernardino Leon, urged all sides of the conflict to immediately cease armed hostilities.
Libya has been witnessing a frayed political process after the 2011 turmoil, which toppled its leader Muammar Gaddafi, and is now juggling two rival parliaments and governments.
According to the country`s transitional plan, the June-elected parliament, the House of Representatives (HOR), has already replaced the former interim General National Congress (GNC).
However, the armed Islamist alliance Libya Dawn, which has achieved a series of military progress since July in western Libya, backed the GNC to resume power and form its own government against the new one.
The internationally recognised HOR has been struggling to regain the lost territories and had earlier launched several air strikes on the areas controlled by the Islamist militants.