Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Bani Walid, Libya
New York, 21 October 2012
The Secretary-General is alarmed by the fighting in and around the Libyan city of Bani Walid, and in particular the reports indicating growing civilian casualties due to indiscriminate shelling. The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and calls on all the Libyan authorities and those in Bani Walid to begin immediately a process to resolve the Bani Walid stand-off peacefully.
The Secretary-General is of the firm conviction that the Libyan authorities must be able to extend Libyan sovereignty and state control and services throughout the territory of Libya. In their historic July elections, the Libyan people put their trust in the Libyan state, and the Secretary-General urges all Libyans to work together to strengthen the legitimacy and effectiveness of state institutions across the country. The state and those militias acting in its name also have a responsibility to the people of Libya to act fully in accordance with international law, in particular international human rights law. All those involved in the fighting in and around Bani Walid should be aware that the international community is closely monitoring the situation.
The Secretary-General believes that the situation in Bani Walid can be resolved in a peaceful manner that preserves the rights of all Libyan citizens and permits the state to exercise its responsibilities there. The Secretary-General notes that his Special Representative in Libya is actively engaged in helping to defuse and resolve the Bani Walid stand-off.