New York, US (PANA) - The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Thursday welcomed the ceasefire brokered in the south-western city of Sabha, where fighting in recent days has resulted in some 50 deaths, and called on all sides to address the underlying causes of the violence.
The mission, in a statement, quoted reports from the Sabha Medical Centre as indicating that the fighting between rival local militias over the past four days had also resulted in injuries to 167 people.
UNSMIL also called on all parties to facilitate the treatment and evacuation of all the wounded and to ensure the protection of civilians.
“It is critical that the Government and all sides take steps to further de-escalate the situation and address the underlying causes of this recent fighting,” the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Ian Martin, stated.
Martin appealed to all sides to resolve the situation through dialogue and peaceful means.
The Mission also reports that, "in coordination with the Sabha Local Council, the Libyan Red Crescent, security forces, and tribal leaders, the UN and its partners in Sabha are responding with pre-positioned non-food items to help address the urgent humanitarian needs".
"Additional medical kits have already been deployed to assist with the wounded and more supplies will be dispatched over the coming days," it added.
Clashes between rival groups have been among the challenges facing Libya since the toppling of the regime of Mouammar Kadhafi last year and the establishment of the interim authorities.
Last month, deadly clashes erupted between the Tabou and the Zwaya tribal brigades in the southern city of Kufra over a two-week period, with about 100 people reported to have died and many others seriously injured.
Briefing the UN Security Council in January, Martin reported that security remained a major concern.
He added that, "events in different parts of the country had highlighted the risks associated with both the continued abundance of weapons on the streets, and the diverse armed 'brigades' operating in the country with unclear lines of command and control".
-0- PANA AA/VAO 29March2012