Libya: ERC Amos visits the Libya-Tunisia border

7 March, 2011
Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos at a transit camp near the Tunisian-Libyan border, speaking to people who have crossed into Tunisia to escape the violence. Credit: OCHA/David Ohana
Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos at a transit camp near the Tunisian-Libyan border, speaking to people who have crossed into Tunisia to escape the violence. Credit: OCHA/David Ohana

The United Nations Secretary-General has appointed the former Foreign Minister of Jordan, Mr. Abdelilah Al-Khatib, as his Special Envoy to Libya. He will undertake urgent consultations with the authorities in Tripoli and in the region on the immediate humanitarian situation and the wider dimensions of the crisis.

In a telephone conversation between the Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister of Libya, Mr. Musa Kusa, on 6 March, the Secretary-General strongly appealed for an end to the hostilities and for full compliance with Security Council resolution 1970. He urged the authorities in Tripoli to respect the human rights of all the country’s people, and to lift restrictions on the media. Mr. Kusa agreed to the Secretary-General’s suggestion to immediately dispatch a humanitarian assessment team to Tripoli.

On 6 March, Emergency Relief Coordinator Ms. Valerie Amos visited the Libya-Tunisia border area. She called for urgent humanitarian access to Misurata in the west of Libya following reports of violence and killing in the area.

“Humanitarian organizations need urgent access now. People are injured and dying and need help immediately", Ms Amos said. "I call on the authorities to provide access without delay to allow aid workers to help save lives. I would also remind all concerned to ensure that civilians are protected from harm.”

The media has reported escalating fighting over the past three days between Government forces and the opposition. Hostilities have been concentrated along the coast between Ras Lanuf and Sirte, and in the
towns of Beriaga, Zawiya and Misrata, where the Libyan Red Crescent said it had difficulties delivering aid.

On 6 March, media sources said that in Zawiya, between 30 and 35 people were killed, including civilians and opposition forces. According to the media, dozens were killed in the explosion of an ammunition depot in Wadi Qattara, east of Benghazi. On 5 March, IOM reported that 203,756 people have crossed the borders from Libya to Egypt (90,306), Tunisia (110,331) and Niger (3,119).

The joint United Nations assessment to eastern Libya (Benghazi) returned to Cairo on 6 March and briefed development and humanitarian partners in Egypt. The assessment report will be finalized shortly. The European External Action Service for Crisis Response and Operational Coordination has sent a factfinding mission to Libya to assess humanitarian and evacuation efforts on the ground, and to make an appraisal of what additional support may be needed.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #6   [English - Arabic]  -  OCHA Press Release on Regional Appeal launch

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