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UNHCR warns of humanitarian disaster in Libya

Smoke rises after forces of Warlord Khalifa Haftar attacked to capital Tripoli, Libya on 19 January 2020. [Enes Canlı - Anadolu Agency]
Smoke rises after forces of Khalifa Haftar attacked Tripoli, Libya on 19 January 2020 [Enes Canlı/nadolu Agency]

Jean-Paul Cavalieri, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Libya, warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in this country, should armed clashes move to densely populated areas.

In statements to the Anadolu Agency, Cavalieri indicated that two out of three centres providing medical aid and support to refugees in Tripoli, affiliated with the UNHCR, were evacuated due to the clashes.

He continued: "27 per cent of our employees have been forced to move at least once. They are forced to cross barriers and front lines to reach their offices in a complex and dangerous way."

Cavalieri stressed the need for European countries to play a greater role in restoring peace in the country, and assist Libya to do so.

READ: Libya's Haftar receives 6 Chinese drones from Jordan

He asserted that Turkey and the other parties involved in the Libyan file must accelerate their efforts to find a solution to end the conflict there.

Cavalieri pointed out that the European Union lacks a unified internal position regarding the problem of asylum in Libya, calling on the EU to exert more efforts and share responsibilities in this regard, to find a solution.

Libya has been witnessing an ongoing armed conflict, as the forces of retired Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar have been clashing, for months, with the forces of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) over legitimacy and authority in the oil-rich country.

The Haftar forces have launched, since 4 April, an attack to control the capital, Tripoli, the present location of the GNA's headquarters, which led to frustrating the UN's efforts to hold a dialogue conference between Libyans.

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