Upsurge in Libya fighting triggers new displacement

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An estimated 400,000 people are displaced across Libya, including this man at a site near the capital, Tripoli. UNHCR/L.Dobbs

An upsurge in fighting in Libya since the start of the year has forced people to flee their homes, with about 400,000 now displaced across the country, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The agency says that many of the people have had to flee for a fourth or fifth time as the conflict raged across several towns and cities in the east, including Benghazi.

UNHCR says that in Benghazi alone, the authorities are reporting that approximately 90,000 people are unable to return home.

William Spindler is UNHCR Spokesperson in Geneva.

"The displacement has been centred around Benghazi, Derna, and near the Gulf of Sidra in Ben Jawad and Ras Lanuf. This is just one of the areas of Libya seeing people in mass flight. Across the country we estimate that approximately 400,000 people are displaced. In addition, Libya is host to nearly 37,000 refugees and asylum-seekers of different nationalities whose humanitarian conditions are increasingly precarious." (26")

Meanwhile, two days of talks hosted by the United Nations to resolve the conflict in Libya concluded in Geneva on Friday.

Participants are reported to have expressed their unequivocal commitment to a united and democratic Libya governed by the rule of law and respect for human rights.

The North African country has been embroiled in a crisis since Muammar al-Qhadafi was overthrown in a popular uprising nearly four years ago.

Stephanie Castro,United Nations

Duration:  1’30″


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