12 August 2014

Libya: UN Mission Condemns Ongoing Fighting Despite Repeated Calls for Ceasefire

Photo: Al Jazeera English
More than 50 people have been killed in fighting in Libya since Saturday night. Weeks of violence in Benghazi and the capital Tripoli have forced many foreign diplomats to leave the country. Al Jazeera's Erica Wood reports.

The United Nations mission assisting Libya today condemned the battles in the capital, Tripoli, which continue despite repeated international calls for an immediate ceasefire and appeals to refrain from the use of force to resolve political differences.

In a statement, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it "deplores the rise in the number of civilian casualties" and expressed deep concern about the displacement of thousands of families.

Shortages of medical supplies, as well as the halt to the country's economic activity, driven in part by the huge destruction of residences and infrastructure, are also concerns.

In the eastern region of the country, UNSMIL condemned continued clashes which are inflicting harm on the civilian population. The Mission also denounced attacks against police and army positions, as well as the use of military aircraft in combat.

Libya has been embroiled in some of the worst fighting since the 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi and set the North African nation on a path to democratic transition.

According to media reports, the new House of Representatives today agreed that the new President will be directly elected by the Libyan people. The newly elected Libyan parliament convened for the first time last week, a move welcomed by UNSMIL in the hopes that parliamentarians will lead efforts toward inclusive political dialogue.

UNSMIL said that it was in coordination with international partners and in constant contact with all sides in an effort to reach a ceasefire, end the bloodshed and agree to political solutions to the current problems.

"All sides must respond positively to these efforts without delay," the Mission urged.

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