The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is “deeply concerned” about ongoing armed clashes in Tripoli, which caused death and injury of dozen civilians.
Intense fighting erupted in the Libyan capital overnight and lasted into Saturday morning, leading to indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighborhoods in Tripoli.
At least 4 people were killed and a dozen injured since the fighting broke out. The Health Ministry of the Government of National Unity said it received distress calls from citizens stranded in areas of clashes inside Tripoli. The ministry also said that it is “in urgent need” of blood denotations to treat those injured in the aftermath of the conflict.
In a statement via Twitter, the U.N. Mission in Libya called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and reminded “all parties of their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian objects.”
1/3 The United Nations in Libya is deeply concerned about ongoing armed clashes including indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighborhoods in Tripoli, reportedly causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian facilities including hospitals. pic.twitter.com/otrlpaQxKZ
— UNSMIL (@UNSMILibya) August 27, 2022
The violence was the latest escalation to threaten the relative peace after nearly a decade of civil war in Libya, where two rival sets of authorities are locked in a political stalemate.
The rivalry over Libya’s leadership between the two began when 60-year-old Fathi Bashagha was selected by the House of Representatives to lead the country as interim premier last February, thus effectively terminating the legislative legitimacy of his 63-year-old rival Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh whose government failed to hold national elections in December 2021 as per the U.N.-led peace plan.
Bashagha and Dbeibeh enjoy the support of powerful armed groups in Tripoli and Misurata. Both have exchanged accusations of responsibility of the latest wave of violence.