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UNICEF: Half a Million Children in Immediate Danger in Libyan Capital

UNICEF: Half a Million Children in Immediate Danger in Libyan Capital

Tuesday, 25 September, 2018 - 08:30
Children sit in a car in Benghazi, Libya. (Reuters)
Amman, Cairo- Asharq Al Awsat and Khalid Mahmoud
Half a million children are in immediate danger in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, according to United Nation’s Child Fund (UNICEF).

Since August 27, violent clashes escalated in Tripoli resulting in the death of 115 and the injury of about 400, according to Health Ministry figures.

UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, announced that eight children had been killed since violence escalated in Tripoli, indicating that many more children are facing multiple grave child rights violations.

“More children are reportedly being recruited to fight, putting them in immediate danger...Over 1,200 families have been displaced in the past 48 hours alone as clashes intensified in southern Tripoli, bringing the total number of displaced to over 25,000,” he asserted.

Cappelaere explained that a shortage of food water and electricity is among the daily challenges facing children and families, especially that the country is facing an outbreak of measles, with over 500 cases reported, most of which are among children.

More schools are being used to shelter displaced families, which is likely to delay the start of the school year planned for 3 October.

“Hundreds of detained refugees and migrants, including children, were forced to move because of violence. Others are stranded in centers in dire conditions,” he warned.

UNICEF has been working to provide emergency relief to those children and continues to advocate for their release.

The organization urged all parties to the conflict in Libya to protect children at all times.

On Monday, heavy fighting continued in Tripoli in spite of UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) announcing on Sunday that it is preparing a list of international humanitarian law violators over the violence in the capital that killed and injured many people.

"The UN reiterates that it's preparing a list of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) violators to submit to UNSC for sanctions and prosecution, as it did against Ibrahim Jadhran," the Mission said in a statement late on Sunday.

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