The United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) condemned on Tuesday the forced closure of the eastern branch of the Man-Made River, which the Mission says could risk “provoking a humanitarian crisis”.
“Any obstruction of vital infrastructure, such as the Man-Made River, is a violation of international human rights and humanitarian law and is particularly reprehensible when committed to extort political concessions,” the U.N. Mission said. “Such acts are similar to a form of collective punishment of people, can never be justified and all perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
UNSMIL reiterated that “access to water and water supply should never be politicized”, urging “all actors to work in the national interest of Libya and all people in Libya to ensure the water supply is resumed immediately and that water infrastructure is both respected and protected. ”
Tribal relatives of Abdullah Senussi, the former intelligence chief of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, had blocked the water flow of the Man-Made River to bargain his release after reports of his health’s deterioration emerged.