The United Nations has announced the increase of the number of displaced people fleeing the battles in the Libyan capital Tripoli and its surroundings to 18 thousand people.
This came during a press conference held by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at the international organisation’s permanent headquarters in New York, on Monday.
“We have observed increased indiscriminate shelling in residential areas (in Tripoli), and attacks on civilian infrastructure, and again are reminding the parties of their obligations to follow International Humanitarian Law,” said Dujarric.
He added: “The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (in Libya) informed us that more than 18,000 civilians had fled their houses due to the current hostilities in Tripoli and its outskirts, and more than 2,500 of them have been displaced in the last 24 hours alone.”
He continued that nearly 3,000 refugees and migrants are still trapped in detention centres in or close to conflict-affected areas.
For its part, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Libya attributed in a statement the low rates of the evacuation of civilians to “ongoing clashes, random use of weapons, and reports of ambulance vehicles being deliberately targeted.”
The statement called on all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international law by refraining from targeting educational and health facilities or personnel as well as civic infrastructure.
Earlier on Monday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the increase of victims of the clashes in the Libyan capital Tripoli to 147 dead people and 614 wounded.
On Friday, the United Nations announced that around 10,000 people had fled the clashes in and around Tripoli.
On 4 April, retired Major General Khalifa Haftar has launched an ongoing military operation to take over Tripoli, in a move that has raised widespread international rejection and condemnation.