Armed conflict in Libya worsens situation amid COVID-19 spread


The United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday said that the ongoing armed conflict in Libya is worsening the situation in the country amid the COVID-19 spread.

“One year since the launch of a military offensive in Tripoli, Libya, fighting is further worsening with COVID-19 now bringing new threats,” UNHCR said.

The violence killed more than 300 civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others since it broke out between the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government in April 2019, the commission said.

Despite recent announcements of both rival parties of accepting international calls for a humanitarian truce to allow authorities to fight COVID-19, civilians continue to be targeted with both rivals exchanging accusations for breaking the truce.

“The ongoing conflict has severely impacted the country’s health system and medical services, which have limited financial resources and face shortages of basic equipment and medicines. Many hospitals or health facilities, located in areas close to the conflict, have also been damaged or closed,” the statement said.

UNHCR also said that asylum-seekers and refugees are detained in overcrowded reception centers in Libya with poor living conditions.

In April 2019, the commander of the eastern-based army has launched a military campaign to take over the capital Tripoli from the rival UN-backed government, which killed and injured many people. Enditem

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