Libya: Tripoli - Flash Update No.1 (07 April 2019)

Highlights

  • Since 4 April, when fighting began to flare up in areas near the Libyan capital, the security situation in western Libya remains fluid and unpredictable.

  • While displacement of some 2,200 individuals has already been recorded, the civilian population in some combat-affected areas are unable to flee the area and emergency services are unable to reach them.

  • The fast increasing deployment of forces could potentially result in significant population displacement, curtailed access to populations in need with wide-spread protection issues.

2,200 individuals have been displaced to other areas in Tripoli, Bani Waleed, Tajoura and Tarhuna

1,300 refugees and migrants are currently close to frontlines in the detention centers in Qasr Ben Gashir and Ain Zara

Concerns remain for civilians caught in conflict-affected areas, who are unable to leave the affected areas

4 civilian deaths have been recorded by the Health Sector over the past two days. Two of the four deceased were doctor.

Situation Overview

Since 4 April, when fighting flared up in areas near the Libyan capital, the security situation in western Libya remains fluid and events are rapidly evolving. Hostilities are increasingly affecting the civilian population, noting here that the health sector has recorded four civilian deaths in the past two days, including two doctors. The humanitarian community is closely monitoring the situation and is verifying reports received, noting that much of the information currently emerging on the situation on the ground lacks reliability.

It appears certain however, that the humanitarian situation in the conflict areas along the southern belt of Tripoli is worsening. DTM has already recorded displacement movement of some 2,200 individuals to comparatively safer areas of Tripoli, Tarhouna, Bani Waleed and Tajoura. Most displaced families are currently staying with relatives and acquaintances, while ten families are staying in a collective shelter that was set up by the municipality of Tajoura. Tawergha IDPs in the IDP camps ‘Fallah 1&2’ were requested by the Tawergha Local Council to leave the camps due to a fear of a further escalation of fighting and indiscriminate shelling, and to move to a nearby concrete unfinished building.

In some combat areas, however, the civilian population are unable to leave due to the intensity of fighting and emergency service providers remain unable to reach them. On 7 April, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNMIL) called on all military parties in Wadi Al-Rabeea, Al-Kayikh, Qasr bin Ghashir and Al-Aziziyah to respect a humanitarian truce between 4 pm and 6 pm, to ensure the evacuation of the wounded and civilians by ambulances. This truce was not respected and evacuation of the wounded could not take place.

The humanitarian community remains very concerned about the protection of civilians, and reports from persons caught in fighting have been received and are being followed-up. There is a particular concern for the safety and security of some 1,300 refugees and migrants who are currently in close proximity to conflict- affected areas in the Qasr Ben Gashir Detention Center and the Ain Zara Detention Center.

The humanitarian community has received reports of electricity cuts in Al-Hira, Azzayiya, Wadi Al-Rabea, al-Alam, al-Siyabia and other areas in Gharyan due to damage to the main electricity line. Persistent electricity cuts, and a possible shortage in fuel, will severely affect the availability of clean drinking water, and also limit the ability of hospitals and bakeries to operate.

On 6 April, the LNA declared a no-fly zone over Tripoli. At the time of writing this report, it remained unclear, what implications the declaration of the no fly zone over western Libya by the LNA will have on UNHAS and commercial flights.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.