23 April 2019

Libya Conflict Brings Education to a Standstill

Tripoli — EDUCATION has ground to a halt in Libya as rival forces battle for the control of the capital Tripoli.

Fighting between rival forces ensued at the beginning of this month (April), and it's escalating nationwide.

Some 500 000 children have been affected by the ongoing conflict between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the rebel Government of National Accord (GNA) and affiliated armed groups.

"Children bear the brunt of the conflict," said a spokesperson of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The academic school year has been suspended in conflict-affected areas, impacting some 122 088 children in nine municipalities near Tripoli.

Many schools have been closed as teachers are not able to report to work and parents are reluctant to send their children to school, fearing for their safety.

Ten schools in affected regions have been turned into collective centres hosting displaced families.

Increased levels of psycho-social stress have been reported by child protection partners working in collective centres and parents have been struggling to console their children.

Over 4,500 migrants and refugees, including 1,000 children are in eight detention centres close to the conflict lines and are in serious need of food, water, health care and protection services.

The North African country of 7 million people is mired in conflict since the overthrow and murder of former president Muammar Gaddafi following France-United States' North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) backed military action.

Gaddafi had been in power since 1969.

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