Humanitarian access "absolutely essential' in Libya

It is absolutely essential that people trapped by fighting in Libya get humanitarian assistance, the head of the United Nations refugee agency Antonio Guterres has said.

Speaking in Cairo, on a two-day visit to Egypt, Mr. Guterres expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Libya where the conflict continues between forces opposed to and those supporting Muammar Qadhafi.

Mr. Guterres said a lot of discussion and coverage is about the military and political aspect of the conflict, but very little attention is given to the humanitarian situation in the country.

He pointed out that 400,000 people have crossed the country’s borders into Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and Niger.

“At the same time, a lot are displaced inside the country and many people trapped in areas of conflict in a desperate situation. I was particularly moved when I heard the stories and the testimonies of families of Egyptians that are now trapped in Misrata and at the present moment it is absolutely essential that humanitarian access is given to all those in need of assistance wherever they might be in Libya.”

Mr. Gueterres also praised the people and government of Egypt for opening the country’s borders, and for their hospitality to those who have fled the crisis in Libya.

Duration:  27″

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