The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), expressed its concerns of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Tripoli and Tarhouna, as a result of the escalation of fighting over the past few days
In a statement issued on Monday, the mission stated that at least 28 civilians were injured and five killed, including women and children, due to the dramatic increase of indiscriminate shelling on civilian populated areas in Ain Zara, Al-Swani, Tareeq al Shook, Souq Al-Juma, Al-Krimya, Al-Furnaj and Arada.
“These attacks have resulted in renewed displacement and damage to civilian properties and infrastructure,” the mission stated, adding “On the 17th of April, the Central Hospital in Tripoli was also hit, resulting in extensive damage to the intensive care unit and the evacuation of staff and patients.”
UNSMIL also expressed its concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Tarhouna, due to the military escalation in and around the city, resulting in the displacement of civilians, indicating that “the dire humanitarian situation is further exacerbated by the continued power cuts, in what is an apparent collective punishment of the people of the city”, and calling on all parties involved “to immediately end the power cuts and restore the flow of gas immediately.”
The mission also reminded all parties to the conflict that indiscriminate attacks, as well as the targeting of hospitals and other medical facilities, and intentionally cutting off electricity, fuel, water or food supplies are violations of international humanitarian law and could, amount to war crimes.
“Attacks that damage or otherwise affect the regular functioning of healthcare facilities are even more deplorable in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, given that the country’s health system is already over-stretched and under-resourced,” UNSMIL added.