By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 April 2020:
A statement by the Spokesman for the UN Secretary General yesterday strongly condemned the heavy shelling, for the second consecutive day, of Al Khadra General Hospital in Tripoli. He also condemns the continued attacks on medical personnel, hospitals and medical facilities, particularly at a time when they are critical to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary-General reminded all parties that medical personnel, hospitals and medical facilities are protected under international humanitarian law and that attacks on them may constitute war crimes.
He reiterated his call for a global ceasefire and a humanitarian pause in Libya in order to save lives and enable the Libyan authorities and their partners to devote all their energies to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
It will be recalled that multiple parts of Tripoli were subjected to a barrage of 40-60 missiles on Tuesday, including what were described as Grad missiles. Miraculously, no deaths were reported. Mitiga airport and the Al-Hadba hospital were also hit. The Tripoli Ministry of Health and UNSMIL condemned the shelling. The attack wss attributed to the pro Khalifa Hafter forces.
A fire broke out in the hospital’s car park after a car was hit. The main building suffered some damage. The hospital was forced to evacuate some of its more serious cases.
The Tripoli Ministry of Health had sent out an urgent appeal to all local and international humanitarian organizations to move quickly to stop what it called these ‘‘criminal attacks on the capital Tripoli, which target health institutions, most recently this (Tuesday) evening, where the Al-Hadba Al-Khadra General Hospital was targeted by missiles. This caused the hospital’s power generator to cut resulting in the evacuation of patients, including those with virus “Coved 19”, which exacerbated the humanitarian health situation in Libya’’.
Meanwhile, UNSMIL Humanitarian Coordinator Yacoub Al-Helou had said he was shocked yesterday (Tuesday) by the targeting of the Al-Hadba Al-Khadra General Hospital.