Libya: Tripoli Clashes Situational Report No.18 As of 28 April 2019 (covering 25-28 April)
This report is produced by OCHA Libya in collaboration with humanitarian partners.
Indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes on residential areas continues, in violation of international humanitarian law, with unconﬁrmed reports of civilian casualties and material damages reported in Al Hadhba area of Abusliem municipality on the night of 25-26 April and in Ain Zara and Al Twaisha areas of Tripoli on the night of 27-28 April.
For civilians trapped by frontline fighting, including urban refugees and migrants, access to food is becoming a greater challenge. In many areas, markets are closed due to fighting and civilians are unable to travel safely to purchase food. Even in areas where markets remain in operation, prices of fresh vegetables and cooking oil have increased, as well as the cost of gas for cooking.
Humanitarian partners call for the fast-tracking of humanitarian shipments into Libya, to meet the urgent needs of conflict affected populations.
Indiscriminate shelling/rocket attacks on residential areas has continued during the reporting period, in violation of international humanitarian law. On the overnight of 25-26, grad and mortar shells were reportedly fired on residential areas in Al Hadhba, in Abusliem, and Al Sidrah municipalities, with unconfirmed reports of casualties and material damages reported.
OCHA received a report from the Mayor of Abusliem that one civilian sustained injuries in the shelling and that there might be unexploded ordnance in populated areas in Abusliem resulting from the attack. This information was referred to UNMAS for their follow up. On the night of 27-28 April, airstrikes were also reported to have impacted in residential areas, including in Ain Zara and Al Twaisha area of Tripoli, with unconfirmed reports of at least one civilian death, as well as damage to civilian buildings and homes. Airstrikes impacting a military base located in the vicinity of the Alfallah I & II IDP camps in Tawerga were also reported, with no civilian casualties reported. Elsewhere, armed clashes, shelling and airstrikes continued along established frontlines. Verified civilian casualty figures remain unchanged as of this reporting, with no new civilian casualties verified since 25 April. Since the beginning of the conflict at least 90 civilian casualties, including 21 fatalities have been verified. These casualties include medical personnel, women and children, and at least one foreign national.
On 25 April UNHCR and IOM completed the evacuation of all refugees and migrants from Qasr Bin Ghasheer Detention Centre (DC), transferring 327 refugees and migrants to Azzawaya DC. In total, 655 individuals (519 men, 108 women and 28 children) were transferred from Qasr Bin Ghasheer DC to Azzawaya DC on 24-25 April. On 23 April, 12 detainees sustained injuries that required hospitalization when an armed group entered Qasr Bi Ghasheer DC. Upon arrival at Azzawaya DC, UNHCR provided counselling, registration, NFIs and medical assistance through its partner IMC. Qasr Bin Ghasheer was one of nine DCs located in areas exposed to or at risk of clashes, two of which have now been completely evacuated. 3,343 refugees and migrants remain trapped in DCs considered to be exposed to or at risk of armed conflict. Additionally, a DTM-IOM Rapid Assessment finds that a significant population of urban migrants and refugees are present in conflict affected areas, at risk from armed conflict and subject to a lack of freedom of movement and impaired access to markets/food.
According to latest DTM-IOM figures, nearly 41,000 individuals have fled their homes since the start of the conflict. Some 1,925 new IDPs have been identified in the past 72 hours in Garabolli, Bani Waleed, Janzour, Msallata,
Tajoura, Kasr al Khyar and Suq al Jumaa. Unconfirmed media reports indicate that civilians north of Tarhouna are being asked by authorities to relocate in anticipation of armed conflict in the area. An unconfirmed number of civilians remain trapped in conflict areas, where electricity cuts and water shortages resulting from damaged infrastructure are common and access to essential items such as food, medicine and fuel is severely disrupted. Armed clashes, random shelling, roadblocks and explosives placed on roads hamper the ability of humanitarian actors to evacuate civilians and to deliver needed aid, as well as the ability of civilians to move freely to safer areas or access vital goods and services. Access to food is becoming more difficult throughout Tripoli, with Food Sector reporting that, even in areas where markets remain in operation, prices of fresh vegetables and cooking oil have increased, as well as the cost of gas for cooking.
Logistics Sector partners highlight the need for eased and expedited import and customs procedures in light of the current humanitarian crisis. Timings for custom clearance continue to vary greatly and the lack of predictability and clarity in procedures and requirements continues to hamper humanitarian operations, as delays of up to four months have been reported. Although no specific worsening of the previous customs clearance situation was identified in relation to the current fighting, the increase in humanitarian needs calls for the current procedures to be eased to facilitate the import of humanitarian assistance into the country. Humanitarian partners agree that in light of the current increase in the need for humanitarian assistance, there is a strong need for expedited and clear import procedures for humanitarian cargo to be established by authorities and broadly shared. Fast-tracking of humanitarian cargo and the identification of a focal point among the authorities that could be contacted for matters pertaining to the import could help streamline procedures and facilitate the timely delivery of life-saving assistance.