Humanitarian agencies relocating hundreds of Libyans amid Tripoli fighting: UN

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-25 06:52:12|Editor: yan
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UNITED NATIONS, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Humanitarian agencies in Libya are relocating hundreds of people in and around Tripoli trying to escape the latest outbreak of fighting, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday.

The relocations are being carried out by the world body and its humanitarian colleagues while efforts for a cease-fire or at least a humanitarian break in the fighting are sought on different fronts, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"Efforts are underway to relocate hundreds of refugees and migrants from the Qasr Ben Ghashir detention center, which is in an area directly impacted by the ongoing clashes," Dujarric told reporters at a regular briefing.

At least 12 people were injured when violence broke out at the center Tuesday, he said. They have since been transferred to medical facilities. Nearly 900 people were at the detention center when the violence occurred.

The facility is one of several where Libya was holding migrants and refugees. Many were trying to flee across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe when detained.

The spokesman said the United Nations welcomes the plea for an immediate cease-fire Tuesday by the African Union (AU), the Troika of Egypt, Rwanda and South Africa and chair of the AU High-level Committee on Libya, President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso.

They are also committed to intensifying engagement towards "a Libyan political solution facilitated by the United Nations," he said.

"The secretary-general and his special representative Ghassan Salame remain committed to continuing their engagement with the African Union to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis," the spokesman said.

He added that the world body remains concerned about the continued clashes in various areas in southern Tripoli and its impact on the humanitarian situation.

"We're continuing to work with partners, to respond to the humanitarian impact of the clashes," Dujarric said. "The UN also continues to seek immediate humanitarian pauses to allow humanitarian access and allow civilians to depart from conflict areas."

He said that nearly 36,000 people have now fled conflict-affected areas in and around Tripoli, citing the International Organization for Migration.

The majority are staying with family and making other private arrangements, while more than 2,200 people have been accommodated in 16 collective shelters set up by local authorities, the spokesman said.

However, an unconfirmed number of families remain stranded in conflict-affected areas, he added.

Almost 23,000 people have received humanitarian assistance and services since the start of the current hostilities, despite considerable access and funding constraints, Dujarric said.

Fighting erupted earlier this month around Tripoli when the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the UN-recognized government. His drive apparently stopped on the outskirts of the capital, with scattered attacks reported in Tripoli proper.