UN Secretary-General Commends Humanitarian Pause in Libya Conflict

The UN Secretary-General has welcomed “the positive response” from belligerents in the Libya conflict to calls for a pause in fighting to deal with COVID-19, expressing hopes that it will lead to a lasting ceasefire in the conflict-ravaged country.

  • By externalwire | March 22, 2020,1:03 pm
UN Secretary-General Commends Humanitarian Pause in Libya Conflict

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Libyan National Army (LNA) for pausing fighting to deal with the public health crisis presented by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the worn-torn North African country. 

“Given the already dire humanitarian situation in Libya and the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General calls on the parties to join forces to address the threat and to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian aid throughout the country,” Guterres said in a statement.

 

Over the last week, the UN and the international community have appealed to both sides of the conflict to work together to address the threat of coronavirus in Libya.  

The international tally of coronavirus cases reached 307,297 and deaths hit 13,049 on Sunday, March 22.

Libya is yet to report any cases of the virus, but its suspected the absence of cases is due to a lack of testing rather than a lack of an outbreak. There are grave concerns the pandemic will have a disastrous effect in conflict zones like Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Amid the deepening global COVID19 pandemic, the news of a pause in fighting in Libya is a timely, positive development both for the conflict and the global fight against the virus. 

Guterres also expressed hopes that the current pause in fighting might translate into a solid ceasefire. 

“[The Secretary-General] therefore calls on the parties to accept the draft ceasefire agreement emanating from the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks facilitated by the United Nations in Geneva last month,” the UN statement concluded.

 

 Read also: LNA Accuses Turkey of Transporting Terrorists to Libya on Civilian Aircraft

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