OCHA Libya: Communal Violence in Murzuq - Flash Update (As of 14 August 2019)

Situation Report
Originally published



• At least 90 civilian people killed and more than 200 injured as a result of the violent clashes which escalated early this month, including the air strike that targeted the area on 4 August.

• Over 1,285 families (approx. 6,425 individuals) have been displaced inside Murzuq and to nearby areas. Some of them are currently hosted in collective shelters arranged by local authorities1.

• Several houses and infrastructure were reportedly destroyed, amid continued electricity breakdown and limited telecommunication means.

Situation overview

Since early August, violent clashes escalated in Murzuq, area southern of Libya after several consecutive precision airstrikes impacted the area on 4 August. On 8 August, a mortar landed on a house hosting IDPs in the Bendalwah neighborhood resulting in injuries among four children between 2 and 7 years-old and the death of two siblings2. The situation escalated since 11 August and fighting continued despite the declared truce that mostly held throughout the rest of the country. As of 14 August, the estimate number of civilians killed raised to at least 90 and more than 200 injured3.

Concerns are growing as humanitarian needs are rising as a result of the ongoing conflict. An estimated 6,426 individuals have been displaced to Sebha, Ubari, Wadi Etbah, Al Gatroun and safer neighborhoods within Murzuq municipality. Reportedly, some families are unable to leave the affected areas for fear of reprisals. Wadi Etbah has received the largest wave of displacement with around 4,050 IDPs mainly in urban areas including 450 IDPs across 7 shelters, while more than 1,000 people are displaced within Murzuq municipality. In addition, around 270 migrants from different West African nationalities were reportedly also displaced from Murzuq.

Preliminary findings indicated widespread disruption to markets (bakeries, food and NFIs) and infrastructure (water supply, sanitation and electricity) in Murzuq town. The entire area continues to experience electricity outage with very limited telecommunication means.

The situation remains highly insecure. The deteriorating security situation and shelling have damaged infrastructure over the past week and causing intermittent road closures on the three axes leading to Murzuq. The main Sebha-Murzuq road is reportedly blocked with possible access only through the western axis SebhaUbari-Wadi Etbah-Murzuq. Safe access to Murzuq remains a priority and OCHA continues to facilitate negotiations to secure humanitarian safe passage to allow the evacuation of trapped civilians and injured people and deliver assistance to the people in need; and calling for decreased tension among fighting parties. With no end in sight to the fighting in Murzuq area, humanitarian partners are concerned that needs will continue to grow and are gearing up to provide assistance as access becomes available.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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