06 October 2016 - Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Martin Kobler is deeply disturbed by reports that civilians in Benghazi’s Ganfouda’s neighbourhood continue to be caught in the cross-fire, suffer shortages of food, water and medicines.
“The protection of civilians is the UN’s number one priority here,” Mr. Kobler affirmed. “Therefore, I call for a humanitarian pause to allow humanitarian assistance and to reach those in need and to create a safe passage to allow civilians who wish leave to do so in a safe and dignified manner. Women and children who wish to leave must be allowed to do so as a first step towards the evacuation of all civilians and prisoners.”
UNSMIL has been working to support the Libyan mediation process to minimize the suffering in Ganfouda. “In that capacity, UNSMIL stands ready to support in the evacuation process,” said Mr. Kobler.
UNSMIL supports the fight against terrorist organizations as identified by relevant Security Council resolutions. Such fight should be conducted in line with International Law. The Special Representative also stressed that “the use of civilians as human shields and the carrying out of indiscriminate attacks are prohibited by International Humanitarian Law. Such violations would constitute war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and their perpetrators would be held accountable.”