Libya: Death Toll Escalating in Libyan Hostilities

The meeting facilitated by the UN Support Mission in Libya.

Tripoli — NO less than 130 civilians, including children, have been killed during hostilities in Libya since the beginning of the year.

Schools have been damaged and children are missing out on education while women and girls face serious risks of sexual violence in the North African country.

Violence and threats are jeopardising the capacity of medical aid workers as they attempt to assist wounded and sick civilians.

Maria Ribeiro, the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya, said it was crucial that all humanitarian staff could work in a safe environment so that life-saving assistance could reach people in need without delay.

"Libyan humanitarian workers are often the first responders," she said at the commemoration of World Humanitarian Day this past weekend.

Ribeiro called on all parties in Libya to do everything in their power to protect those most vulnerable, especially people caught up in conflict and to ensure access for humanitarian assistance.

"This demands tolerance, respect for human rights and dignity," she said.

The oil-rich country of more than 6 million people has been in crisis since international forces overthrew longtime leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.

Libya has been torn among numerous rival, armed militias affiliated with distinct regions, cities and tribes since the demise of Gaddafi.

The government has been weak and unable effectively to exert its authority over the country.

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