A top United Nations envoy has voiced his concern over renewed fighting in Libya across several localities that has led to a number of deaths, injuries and displacement, and called on the authorities to address the causes of the conflicts and protect civilians.
“It is of the utmost importance that the Government acts swiftly to de-escalate these conflicts and to ensure the protection and well-being of civilians,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ian Martin, said in a statement.
“The wounded need to be able to urgently access medical care, and basic humanitarian support and services must be restored to the people affected by the fighting in accordance with international humanitarian law,” he added.
Mr. Martin welcomed the steps taken so far by the Government, and urged the Libyan authorities and all sides to end the fighting, particularly in Kufra and in the Zintan-Shaqiqa area.
He also reminded all concerned of their obligation to ensure the protection of civilians and avoid the targeting of civilian areas. Sustained efforts are needed, he added, to address the causes and consequences of local conflicts.
Mr. Martin told the Security Council in May that armed clashes in recent months between various groups have tested the reach and authority of the Government’s security apparatus and ability to impose the rule of law. A key issue related to public security, he added, is the integration or demobilization of the revolutionary fighters and the control of weapons.
Human rights, transitional justice, and national reconciliation are among the other issues that need to be addressed during the ongoing democratic transition in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi ruled for more than 40 years until a pro-democracy uprising last year led to civil war and the deposing of his regime.