Libya: senior UN relief official condemns attacks on Benghazi power plant

A view of the old town of Benghazi, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL/Iason Athanasiadis

12 January 2016 – Strongly condemning the recent attacks against a major power plant in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, the top United Nations humanitarian official in the country said today he is “deeply shocked by these actions that directly affect civilian life,” and warned that such “ignoble” attacks may amount to war crimes.

In a statement the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator of the UN in Libya, Ali Al-Za’tari, expressed serious concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country.

He highlighted that these ignoble attacks put additional pressure on the already strained service delivery mechanisms as they further deteriorate the living conditions of people affected by the conflict and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“I am deeply shocked by these actions that directly affect the life of civilians. Attacks against civilian objects and service delivery institutions are attacks against the ordinary people and prohibited under international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes,” Mr. Al-Za’tari said.

He emphasized that the citizens of Benghazi are now without electricity for more than four hours a day, and added that “the repercussions of these power failures on hospitals, community services and households are severe and expose the local population to further distress and deprivation.”

Against that background, the Humanitarian Coordinator called on all parties to ensure the safety and the security of service delivery institutions to meet the basic need of all Libyans.


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