The Latest: UN Libya condemns increase in heavy weapons use - InfoNews

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The Latest: UN Libya condemns increase in heavy weapons use

April 16, 2019 - 10:30 AM

CAIRO - The Latest on developments In Libya (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

The U.N. political mission in Libya is condemning the increased use of heavy weapons and indiscriminate shelling in and around the capital Tripoli.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday the heavy weapons and shelling have damaged houses, schools and civilian infrastructure.

He said the number of people displaced due to hostilities in the Tripoli area has increased to near 20,000, including more than 2,500 in the last 24 hours, according to the U.N. migration agency.

Dujarric said many families fleeing the conflict are heading to central Tripoli and its immediate surroundings but more than 14,000 have sought safety outside the capital including in Tajoura, Al Maya, Ain Zara and Tarhouna.

He said Libyan first responder teams report that civilian evacuations are increasing, including a significant number of casualties.

Fifty civilian casualties have been confirmed so far, including 14 deaths, but these individually verified cases must be considered "a minimum," Dujarric said.

He said U.N. humanitarian staff report that centres set up by local authorities now house some 1,500 displaced people, and more than 8,000 people have been reached with some form of humanitarian assistance.

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5:10 p.m.

A proposed U.N. resolution demands that all parties in Libya immediately de-escalate the fighting and commit to a cease-fire.

The British-drafted resolution also calls on all parties to immediately re-commit to attending a U.N.-facilitated political dialogue "and work toward a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Libya."

The draft resolution, circulated to Security Council members and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, expresses "grave concern" at military activity near the capital Tripoli which began after Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter's self-styled Libyan National Army launched its offensive on April 3.

It says the offensive "threatens the stability of Libya" and prospects for the national dialogue and a political solution in Libya and has had a "serious humanitarian impact."

Security Council members have been divided over Hifter's offensive.

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11:20 a.m.

The U.N. migration agency says recent clashes between rival Libyan militias for control of Tripoli have displaced more than 18,000 people.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday in New York that the International Organization for Migration reported that 13 civilians are among the 146 killed so far in clashes since the self-styled Libyan National Army launched a major military offensive on April 5.

Dujarric says around 3,000 migrants remain trapped in detention centres in and close to conflict areas.

The fighting pits the Libyan National Army, led by commander Khalifa Hifter against militias affiliated with Tripoli's U.N.-backed government.

The clashes threaten to re-ignite civil war such as the 2011 one that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Libya is split between rival governments in the east and west.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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