For over seven weeks, Libya has been witnessing continued heavy fighting between Government and Opposition Forces. Fighting has intensified in recent days, particularly in the city of Misrata. Heavy shelling of the port today (14 April 2011) resulted in a number of casualties and prevented ships from docking.
While the exact number of casualties since the begining of violence is unconfirmed, rights groups have documented at least 250 deaths since the beginning of the hostilities in Misrata.
According to UNICEF, at least 20 children have been killed, including infants as young as nine months, and many other children have been injured by bullets and shelling over a period of 20 days.
Doctors, nurses and ambulances have also been affected. Medical personnel are among the casualties. Landmines, unexploded ordnance and remnants of war pose a serious threat to civilians, especially children. There are reports of limited access of civilians in the city of Misrata to food, water, electricity and health services. Over 3,500 families have reportedly migrated from the periphery of the city of Misrata towards the centre, to escape the shelling.
The situation of thousands of Third Country Nationals (TCNs) inside Misrata remains of particular concern. There are approximately 10,000 TCNs, including Humanitarian Overview - Misrata 14 April 2011 more than 3,000 Egyptians, awaiting evacuation assistance.
Several hundred of these TCNs are from Sudan, Chad and Iraq who cannot return to their home countries for security fears. The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, called for an immediate temporary cessation of hostilities to allow access for humanitarian assistance, on 8 April.
On 11 April, UNICEF called for an immediate end to the conflict in Misrata, warning that tens of thousands of children are at risk.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.