Aid agencies preparing to assist Libyans in remaining pockets of fighting – UN

27 September 2011

Aid agencies have pre-positioned food and medical supplies on the outskirts of the Libyan city of Sirte, where fighting between pro- and anti-Government forces has displaced about 6,000 people and limited humanitarian access, the United Nations reported today.

Pro-democracy groups have defeated forces supporting the ousted regime of Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi and taken control of nearly all of the country. However, pockets of fighting continue in places such as Sirte and Bani Walid and the security situation in some parts of the country still remains fragile.

In an update provided today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that there are “substantial requests for food assistance, especially from Sirte, Bani Walid and Sabha. Although exact numbers are still unclear, the numbers of people needing food aid may be higher than previously anticipate.

OCHA estimates that there are between 100,000 and 150,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country. Serious protection concerns remain for about 50,000 IDPs from minority groups due to direct threats to their physical security as well as social discrimination.

Humanitarian actors are also concerned about the situation of third-country nationals, including migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, who have become more vulnerable to human rights violations since the outbreak of the conflict, the Office added.

The uprising that began in Libya in February is part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East that toppled long-running regimes in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year.


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