The humanitarian situation in Libya, which is already dire, could turn into a humanitarian disaster if hostilities erupt over the coastal city of Sirte, the United Nations warned on Monday.
“The UN remains concerned about a possible humanitarian disaster should the continued escalation and mobilization around Sirte lead to military operations,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“The lives of more than 125,000 people in and around Sirte remain at great risk.” He added.
On Friday, Guterres welcomed a call from both sides in the Libyan conflict for a cease-fire and an end to hostilities.
However, warlord Khalifa Haftar has rejected the ceasefire plea.
“It is clearly extremely important that all the parties involved work on the same basis, and that is for a ceasefire, cessation of military activities, for the good of the Libyan people themselves,” Dujarric told a regular, virtual briefing.