UNSMIL Condemns Targeting of Residential Areas in Libya

15 May 2015 – The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) condemns in the strongest possible terms the ongoing shelling of residential areas in Libya, including in Benghazi and Gheryan, and the consequent loss of innocent civilian lives, including children.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Bernardino Leon, strongly deplores the death of at least eight children and the injury of four more, as a result of the shelling of residential areas of Benghazi on two occasions this week. The artillery shelling of residential neighbourhoods in the cities of Gheryan and al-Zawiya are also a tragic reminder of the heavy toll borne by the Libyan people in this conflict.
UNSMIL reminds all parties that attacks against civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes.The Special Representative urges all parties to cease immediately the targeting of civilians and civilian objects and to put an end to the ongoing cycle of violence and revenge. He further reminds all Libyan military actors of their obligations under international humanitarian law to end such attacks and exercise caution and proportionality in the conduct of military operations.

UNSMIL reiterates its belief that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Libya and that prolonged hostilities will only bring more death and destruction. A political agreement through dialogue is the best hope for achieving peace and return to a democratic transition.