UN condemns shelling of civilian areas in Tripoli


Indiscriminate shelling near the Turkish embassy and the Italian ambassador’s residence in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Thursday, was reported to have killed at least two civilians and injured three others.

In a statement, the UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has condemned the shelling and expressed deep alarm at the intensification of such attacks, particularly at a time when Libyans Muslims are trying to peacefully observe Ramadan, and simultaneously battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These despicable actions are a direct challenge to calls by some Libyan leaders for an end to the protracted fighting and the resumption of the political dialogue,” the Mission declared.

May has already been extremely dangerous for Libyan civilians: over the first eight days of the month, homes and other civilian property have been damaged, and at least 15 people reportedly killed, with some 50 injured.

Several Libyan neighbourhoods suffered indiscriminate attacks, said the Mission, mostly attributable to forces affiliated to the opposition Libyan National Army (LNA) under Khalifa Haftar.

“Once again, these attacks display a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law and human rights law, and may amount to war crimes”, declared UNSMIL.

“All parties to the conflict must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including complying with the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attacks, to prevent civilian casualties”.

UNSMIL reiterated that those guilty of crimes under international law will be held to account, and committed to documenting violations and sharing them, where relevant, with the Panel of Experts and the International Criminal Court. (Source: UN News)