As Libya's conflict deepens, nations weigh long-term options
After another day of clashes between Qaddafi forces and antigovernment rebels, the UN called for an end to the progovernment troops’ “indiscriminate” violence.
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Concern is growing about a possible protracted civil war, the Guardian reports. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Abdelilah Al-Khatib, Jordan’s former foreign minister, as his special envoy to Libya and has dispatched a team to Tripoli to investigate the humanitarian situation.
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“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the fighting in western Libya, which is claiming large numbers of lives and threatens even more carnage in the days ahead,” said a statement on the UN website. “He notes that civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence, and calls for an immediate halt to the Government’s disproportionate use of force and indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets.”
In addition to concern for Libyan citizens, the UN has also expressed concern about foreign nationals and other individuals trying to flee the country, reports the Guardian. During the peak of people fleeing, as many as 20,000 people left the country per day. Now that number has dropped to several hundred per day and there are reports of harassment by government forces.
As the UN works to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those in need throughout Libya, Valerie Amos, the UN’s undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief has requested access to the city of Misratah after it was reportedly retaken by government forces. It is the third largest city in Libya, reports Xinhua.
“Humanitarian organizations need urgent access now. People are injured and dying and need help immediately,” said Ms. Amos. “I call on the authorities to provide access without delay to allow aid workers to help save lives.”