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Libya: UN condemns indiscriminate attacks on civilians

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May 09, 2020 - 04:38 AM

ANKARA (AA) – The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) condemned late Friday indiscriminate attacks on civilians in parts of Tripoli and said it would document violations to be shared with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

UNSMIL said it was “deeply alarmed by the intensification of indiscriminate attacks at a moment when Libyans deserve to peacefully observe the holy month of Ramadan and a time when they are battling the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“UNSMIL strongly condemns increased attacks on civilian-populated areas in Tripoli, including the appalling shelling yesterday on Tripoli’s Zawiat al-Dahmani neighborhood, near the Turkish embassy and the Italian ambassador’s residence,” it said.

“Since 1 May, increasing indiscriminate attacks, mostly attributable to LNA-affiliated forces … have caused many civilians casualties, damage to homes and other civilian property,” it said, referring to Libyan National Army (LNA) forces of renegade warlord Khalifa Hafta. “Between 1 and 8 May, at least 15 civilians were reported killed and 50 civilians injured.”

Stressing the attacks displayed “a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law and human rights law and may amount to war crimes,” the statement called on conflict parties to respect obligations to human rights and law.

“UNSMIL reiterates that those guilty of crimes under international law will be held to account,” it concluded.

Haftar intensified attacks on civilians at the beginning of May as the UN-recognized Government of National Accord “(GNA) army recently gained the advantage and inflicted severe losses on his militants.

The government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal.

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