The United Nations Support Mission (UNSMIL) in Libya expressed its concern in a statement today about the armed clashes in Benghazi over the last few days and the continued communications outage. It said it continues to investigate reports of civilian casualties.
UNSMIL reminded those involved in the clashes of the need to respect its obligations to protect civilians.
It called on the authorities in eastern Libya to urgently restart all communications in Benghazi after they were cut off since the outbreak of clashes on 7 October. Obtaining and sharing information is a human right, and communications represent a lifeline for civilians in conflict zones, UNSMIL said.
Benghazi’s military clashes
It will be recalled that unconfirmed and conflicting reports from Benghazi said military clashes took place last Friday evening following the return to the city of the former Minister of Defence in the Faiez Serraj Government of National Accord, Mahdi Al-Barghathi.
Reports are conflicting, but most say that Al-Barghathi return with the approval Khalifa Hafter but that some elements in Hafter’s army acted without higher approval in surrounding Al-Barghathi home. There are reports that he has been arrested.
In reaction to the clashes the eastern authorities cut off all telecommunications.