09 July 2015 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Leon, strongly condemns the escalating fighting in Benghazi and the heavy toll it is having on civilians, and reiterates the call for an immediate end to the hostilities. He particularly deplores the shelling of residential areas in the city, and the consequent loss of civilian lives as well as property.
The Special Representative reiterates his belief that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Libya and that continuing hostilities will only bring more death and destruction, in addition to the untold suffering of the population.
This week, at least 10 fatalities were reported among civilians, according to medical staff at the Benghazi Medical Centre and the Al-Jalaa Hospital. Those injured included children.
Coming at a time of successful reconciliation and ceasefire efforts at different localities in the country, and as the political dialogue among Libyan stakeholders was making major progress, it is high time for Benghazi which has suffered for too long to enjoy peace.
A vast majority of the Libyan people want an immediate end to the conflict. The Special Representative reiterates his conviction that a political agreement through dialogue is the best hope for achieving peace across Libya.
Mr. Leon also reminds all parties that attacks against civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes. He calls on all parties to cease immediately all indiscriminate attacks. The Special Representative further reminds all Libyan military actors of their obligations under international humanitarian law to end such attacks and exercise caution and proportionality in the conduct of military operations.