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UN envoy to Libya condemns Haftar’s airstrikes on civilians

The United Nations Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, has strongly condemned repeated airstrikes targeting civilian installations in western Libya, including Al-Zawiya, Tajoura and Abu Salim, blaming some of them on Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it had documented airstrikes by Haftar’s forces on Institute of Applied Engineering, located in the proximity of Al-Nasser Migrants Center in Al-Zawiya, where hundreds of migrants are being held, adding that other airstrikes On December 26 in Al-Zawiya killed two civilians and injured eight others leaving public and personal property destroyed.

“We have said it loud and clear that indiscriminate attacks against civilians not only constitute a grave violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law, but also further escalate the conflict and incite future acts of revenge, which threaten the social unity in Libya,” Salame warned in a statement published by UNSMIL on Saturday.

Salame remarked in the statement that such attacks by Haftar’s forces “are utterly unacceptable,” stressing the need for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure across Libya.

“On 27 December, attacks in Abu Salim resulted in the death of one civilian and the injury of six civilians, including two children.  Also on 24 December in Tajoura, airstrikes resulted in a number of casualties among civilians.” UNSMIL added.

Prior to the above incidents, UNSMIL and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) announced that at least 284 civilian deaths and 363 injuries have been documented in 2019 as a result of the armed conflict following the start of Haftar’s offensive on Tripoli on April 04.

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