Heavy fighting in southern Tripoli displaces over 50,000 people: UN

Published On: May 4, 2019 10:00 AM NPT By: Agencies

UNITED NATIONS, May 4: Heavy fighting in southern Tripoli, including airstrikes and rocket barrages, has taken a toll on civilians and structures alike, forcing more than 50,000 people to leave their homes, a UN spokesman said on Friday.

"We continue to be concerned about the heavy fighting in southern Tripoli," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "There are reports of extensive use of airstrikes and rocket shelling causing more civilian casualties and destruction, and forcing thousands of more civilians from their homes."

As fighting continues, the International Organization for Migration said more than 50,000 people have now been displaced, Dujarric said. Most are finding shelter with families or in other private arrangements, while 29 collective shelters are now in operation, housing an estimated 2,750 people.

Humanitarians are providing assistance at these collective shelters, and other areas of displacement as access is allowed, the spokesman said.

More than 3,400 refugees and migrants are estimated to be trapped in detention centers already exposed to, or in close proximity to, the fighting, he told a regular briefing.

The availability of food, water and healthcare has been severely restricted in the facilities for refugees and migrants, Dujarric said. Some 32,000 people impacted by the crisis have been able to receive some form of humanitarian assistance to date.

The secretary-general's special representative in Libya, Ghassan Salame, continues his outreach to representatives of different Libyan factions in an effort to de-escalate the situation, said the spokesman.

On Wednesday, Salame met with the president of the Government of National Accord's Presidency Council, Fayez Serraj, and with a group of elders, officials and tribal leaders from the western region of Libya, Dujarric said. Salame offered the United Nations' full support to help civilians affected by the fighting, including internally displaced people and host communities.

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