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10 December 2016 – Expressing deep concern that civilians remain in Ganfouda area of the Libyan city, Benghazi, despite a unilateral ceasefire announced by the Libyan National Army, the United Nations envoy for the country called on the parties to provide another safe passage to allow for the evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave in a secure and dignified manner.
“Reports of shells being fired and civilians being prevented from leaving are extremely concerning,” said Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and the head of the UN Support Mission in the country (UNSMIL) in a news release.
“Earlier this week, I sent letters to both the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) calling on them to urgently open a safe passage to enable the exit of civilians out of Ganfouda. The LNA announced a ceasefire and I welcomed it,” he added.
In the release, Mr. Kobler also reiterated that the LNA and the BRSC are responsible for the safety of the civilians in Ganfouda and reminded the parties to abide by international human rights and humanitarian laws, which explicitly prevent attacks of any kind on civilians and their use as human shields.