The “dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Tripoli has highlighted that much more needs to be done to protect all non-combatants caught up in the battle for the Libyan capital, as the number of victims rises and thousands flee their homes, the UN said on Tuesday.
In an update to journalists in Geneva, the UN migration agency, IOM, reported that 66,000 people have now fled Tripoli to cities along the coast and towards the Nafusa Mountains since clashes erupted between the internationally recognized Government, GNA, and eastern forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar last month.
Safa Msehli, spokesperson for IOM Libya said: “As it stands, the clashes are definitely intensifying and we have not noticed a lot of differences since the beginning of armed conflict on 4 April.”
Ms. Msehli also expressed concern for more than 3,000 migrants still being held in 11 official detention centres in and around the capital. They include children and pregnant women, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, which urged the international community to come forward with “offers of evacuation, humanitarian corridors, whatever it takes to get people out of harm’s way”.
According to latest UN figures from April 5 until May 9, the fighting has claimed 454 lives and wounded more than 2,150.