Call for Libyan ceasefire

Rights groups say migrants face horrifying abuses in Libya, and their plight has worsened since Haftar launched the offensive against Tripoli.

08 July 2019 | International

The UN Security Council called on Friday for a ceasefire in Libya as the death toll from a three-month offensive on Tripoli reached 1 000, including scores killed in an air strike that hit a detention centre for migrants.

The council condemned the late on Tuesday attack on the Tajoura detention camp east of Tripoli and “stressed the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation and to commit to a ceasefire”, said a joint statement.

Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces hold eastern Libya and much of the country's south, launched an offensive in early April to wrestle the capital from forces loyal to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

Air strikes and ground fighting have since left nearly 1 000 people dead and some 5 000 wounded, the UN's World Health Organisation said.

The United Nations said on Thursday it had information that Libyan guards shot at refugees and migrants trying to flee from airstrikes that killed at least 53 people, including six children, in a migrant detention centre late on Tuesday.

The fighting has forced more than 100 000 people to flee their homes and threatens to plunge Libya into deeper conflict.

Among the dead are 53 migrants killed on Tuesday night in an air raid on a detention centre in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura, held by the GNA, which accused Haftar's forces of carrying out the strike.

A Geneva-based spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration said six children were among the migrants killed.

Joel Millman said that 350 migrants, including 20 women and four children, were still detained at the centre, one of five air hangars hit in the raid.

World powers have been divided over how to respond to Haftar's offensive, with the United States and Russia refusing to condemn the Libyan strongman.

The British-drafted council statement condemned the attack on the migrant camp, called for a return to political talks and for full respect of the arms embargo on Libya.

It followed a closed-door council meeting on Wednesday during which US diplomats said they needed more time to consult with Washington on the proposed text.

The United Nations has called for an independent investigation to determine who was responsible for the strike on the centre, which housed some 600 migrants, mainly from African countries.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey - which backs the GNA - called for an end to “unlawful attacks” by Haftar's forces during a meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Istanbul on Friday, the Turkish presidency said.

UN agencies and humanitarian groups have repeatedly voiced concern over the plight of thousands of migrants and refugees held in detention centres near combat zones in the capital.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has expressed outrage over the attack and said the United Nations had shared the coordinates of the detention centre with the warring sides to protect the civilians.

The carnage in Tajoura was “a tragedy that should have never happened”, said Charlie Yaxley, spokesperson for the UN's refugee agency.

Libya has become a major conduit for migrants seeking to reach Europe and remains prey to numerous militias vying for control of the country's oil wealth.

Rights groups say migrants face horrifying abuses in Libya, and their plight has worsened since Haftar launched the offensive against Tripoli.

According to the UN, some 5 700 refugees and migrants are being held in detention centres in Libya,

3 300 of whom are vulnerable to fighting in and around Tripoli.

An initial lightning assault in early April saw Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army steam towards the capital. But they have since been bogged down on its southern outskirts, where frontlines have been frozen for months.

GNA forces launched a surprise counter-attack late last month, seizing the strategic town of Gharyan, the main supply base for Haftar's offensive.

After the setback, Haftar's forces threatened to intensify strikes against their rivals.

Both sides have launched daily air raids throughout the fighting and each lost several planes.

The rival camps have remained convinced that with the help of their backers, they can win the battle.

The GNA receives support from Turkey and Qatar, and Haftar is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and according to experts, to some degree by the United States.





NAMPA/AFP

Similar News

 

Botswana boots Namibian refugees

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | International

The deportation of 855 Namibian refugees living in Botswana will start today after Botswana nullified their refugee status. The now illegal immigrants have refused...

Nigeria to repatriate 600 citizens from SA

1 week ago - 10 September 2019 | International

Nigeria will repatriate about 600 citizens from South Africa this week following a wave of xenophobic violence that sparked sharp exchanges between the two countries,...

Dark cloud of SA violence

2 weeks ago - 06 September 2019 | International

Namibian wholesalers and retailers say the violent lawlessness that has broken out in South African cities, with random attacks on foreign nationals, have not yet...

Enough is enough

2 weeks ago - 05 September 2019 | International

ELLANIE SMIT Outrage is growing against the resurgent xenophobic black-on-black violence in South Africa.This follows a spate of...

Hong Kong turns ugly

2 weeks ago - 02 September 2019 | International

HHundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists blocked some routes to the city's airport Sunday as the financial hub began cleaning up after another night of...

More must be done - Nandi-Ndaitwah

1 month - 15 August 2019 | International

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) needs to do more in order to promote sustainable and equitable socio-economic integration.This is according to outgoing chairperson of...

SADC applauds Mozambican peace deal

1 month - 08 August 2019 | International

President Hage Geingob, in his capacity as chairperson of SADC, has commended the government of Mozambique for concluding an election peace pledge agreement with the...

‘Disgusting, rat-infested mess’

1 month - 29 July 2019 | International

NAMPA/AFPUS President Donald Trump was hit with new accusations of racism Saturday after he attacked a prominent African-American lawmaker and branded the majority black city...

Sudan: What's next?

1 month - 22 July 2019 | International

Just days after protest leaders and Sudan's ruling generals agreed a power sharing deal, key issues remain after talks were postponed Friday.The two sides inked...

El Chapo starts life sentence

1 month - 22 July 2019 | International

Fallen Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was locked up Friday at the ADX federal maximum security prison in the US state of Colorado,...

Latest News

Recalibrate your algorithm… and own...

14 hours ago | Business

Vennduke Chigumba Have you ever had a piece of meat or corn stuck in your teeth, and it just so happens to be in...

Specialising in skin

14 hours ago | Health

Dr Elisah Agaba is a consultant dermatologist at the Ongwediva Medipark university teaching hospital.He is also a senior adjunct lecturer of dermatology at the University...

Sex, verbal abuse rife in...

14 hours ago | Labour

Workplaces in Namibia are rife with sexual and verbal abuse by bosses or clients who are rarely held to account for fear of further harassment...

Snuffed out

14 hours ago | Accidents

JANA-MARI SMITHA total of 101 people have died in 335 car crashes around Namibia in the past month.Experts agree that driver attitudes, and passengers' acceptance...

Fearlessly chasing your dreams

14 hours ago | Business

MARISELLE STOFBERGWhether it is by faith, fate or destiny, Titus Shivute is exactly where he was meant to be in life. This educational officer of...

Bold and resilient

14 hours ago | Business

De Greeff is the architect of her own lifeIzelle de Greeff believes that women raise more than just children, they raise leaders.Elizabeth JosephIn Izelle de...

Never a dull moment

14 hours ago | Business

Evany van Wyk Suné Tietz is an account manager at TinCup Digital Marketing Agency and is originally from East London in South Africa. Growing...

We need a lasting solution

14 hours ago | Columns

We have dedicated our front page today to all those who have lost their lives in road crashes this past month. Given our space constraints...

Passionate and dedicated

14 hours ago | Business

Mariselle Stofberg Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) - a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group - prides itself on not only creating a...

Load More