UN mission condemns bombings in Libya, calls for accountability, dialogue

14 November 2014 | Press Releases

Libya, 13 November 2014 – The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has strongly condemned the rising violence in eastern and western Libya, including the bombings this morning in Tripoli of the embassies of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the ongoing fighting in the city of Benghazi and in Jabal Nafusa, reminding all parties to respect international law.

Shoppers at a market in the Libyan capital Tripoli. Photo: UNSMIL/Abbas Toumi

Shoppers at a market in the Libyan capital Tripoli. Photo: UNSMIL/Abbas Toumi

In a press release today, UNSMIL said it equally condemned the bombings earlier in the week in Tobruk, Al-Baida and Shahat, in addition to the continuing fighting in the towns of Kikla, al-Qala’a and Zintan, and attacks earlier on other diplomatic missions.

“The Mission is gravely concerned about reports of indiscriminate ground and aerial attacks on crowded residential areas in Benghazi; unlawful killings; the deliberate destruction of houses and other property; abduction of civilians including medical personnel; and the obstruction of efforts to evacuate the wounded and distribute humanitarian aid,” UNSMIL said.

UNSMIL also said it is greatly concerned about reports of the beheading of three activists in the city of Derna and a captured fighter in eastern Libya, as well as the “systematic targeting” of human rights activists, members of the judiciary and the security institutions, and the removal by the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries to an unknown destination of inmates held in Buhdeima military prison in Benghazi believed to number more than 130.

The fighting in Jabal Nafusa has been raging for weeks, claiming many lives, forcing civilians to flee their homes and creating a humanitarian crisis despite repeated appeals for an end to the fighting, UNSMIL noted.

“UNSMIL warns against continued violence in all its forms, including the abduction of civilians across the country, and the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all sides accompanying the fighting,” the Mission said.

It also called on all parties to “immediately cease hostilities and reject the violence, and to respect international law,” including by ensuring the protection of civilians and prisoners, and opening safe passages to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of the wounded.

Reminding all parties that they are “morally responsible and criminally liable under national and international law,” UNSMIL said those responsible could also be subject to sanctions under Security Council resolution 2174 (2014).