UNSMIL documents 647 civilian casualties since start of Tripoli offensive

UNSMIL documents 647 civilian casualties since start of Tripoli offensive

December 11, 2019 - 20:31
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it had documented 647 civilian casualties since last April, when Khalifa Haftar's offensive on Tripoli began

In a letter by the UN envoy Ghassan Salame to commemorate the International Human Rights Day, he said the casualties were 284 deaths and 363 injuries in Libya.

"Since the launch of the offensive on Tripoli on April 4th, serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law have been committed with total impunity. The ongoing conflict in Libya has taken a terrible toll on civilians, and as there is no military solution, the UN continues to call for a ceasefire and return to negotiations." He said.

Salame added that airstrikes were the leading cause of civilian casualties, accounting for 394 (182 deaths and 212 injured), followed by ground fighting, summary executions, improvised explosive devices, abductions and killings.

"During the same period, the World Health Organization documented 61 conflict-related attacks against health care facilities and personnel, a 69 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2018. These attacks impacted 18 health facilities, 20 ambulances, and 40 health personnel." Salame remarked.

Women are disproportionately affected by the broader effects of the armed conflict in Libya, which exacerbate their vulnerability to poverty, discrimination and violence, Salame said, referring to the kidnapping of Siham Sergiwa (HoR member) from her house in Benghazi last July hours after she called for “an end to the bloodshed”.

"The abduction was a clear attempt to silence one of Libya’s prominent female voices and to intimidate other women seeking to participate in the country's political life." He explained.

Salame called for progressive closure of all migration detention centres in Libya, and for shelter, protection and safe and legal pathways for migration to be established, saying migrants and refugees in Libya continue to be routinely subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, including sexual violence, abduction for ransom, extortion, forced labour and unlawful killings.

 

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