Renewed fighting in Libya causes suffering to civilians: UN envoy

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Bernardino Leon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Renewed military confrontations in Libya threaten to impose an increasingly heavier toll on the civilian population in the country.

The warning has come from the new head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Leon, during his briefing to the Security Council on Monday.

Libya has been mired in political instability and conflict since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in an armed uprising three years ago.

Mr. Leon said despite repeated calls by the Security Council on the warring parties to stop fighting, the situation remains precarious in the North African country.

"In the east, renewed military confrontations in Benghazi threaten to exact an increasingly heavier toll on the civilian population. In the west, an unrelenting campaign of indiscriminate shelling continues to target large sections of the Warshafana area near Tripoli, causing untold suffering on the part of the civilian population. Tens of thousands of civilians are now known to have fled their homes."(28")

Mr. Leon said many civilians, including women and children, have lost their lives as a result of the shelling.

He added that there are also credible reports of severe shortages of medical supplies.

He said calls for an immediate halt to military operations and urgent humanitarian access have gone unheeded.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1’38″

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