By Sami Zaptia.
London, 10 April 2020:
The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator, Yacoub El Hillo, said today that the collective punishment of millions of innocent people is abhorrent and must stop immediately. He was referring to the water and electricity cuts Tripoli and the Western region of Libya have been suffering for almost a week. The internationally recognized government in Tripoli blamed it on Khalifa Hafter aligned forces or allies. There is evidence that it is a personal grievance as a result of an imprisonment.
In his statement, El Hillo said that ‘‘More than two million people, including 600,000 children, who live in Tripoli and surrounding towns and cities, are suffering from water cuts for almost a week now. The water supply, part of the Great Man-Made River, was disrupted by a group in the Shwerif area as a pressure tactic to secure the release of family members. All mediation efforts until now do not seem to have produced a resolution to the dispute while millions of Libyans remain deprived of water.
Water should never be used as a pressure card nor as a weapon of war. It is particularly reprehensible to deliberately cut off water supplies from people anywhere in Libya.
This deplorable water cut is coinciding with a serious power outage in the western region, also imposed as a result of another individual dispute.
At this moment when Libya is fighting the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to water and electricity is more than ever lifesaving, and such individual acts to collectively punish millions of innocent people are abhorrent and must stop immediately’’.