Libyans fatigued by worsening crisis – Red Cross chief

GENEVA/TRIPOLI, Feb 15 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Paul Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warns that the situation in Libya could lead to many civilians fleeing their country, if things continue to escalate.

On Thursday, fighting continued in Libya’s capital Tripoli, a day after the UN Security Council resolution called for a “lasting ceasefire”. Reports say civilian casualties were recorded.

The ICRC boss said: “The Libyans want to stay home. They want to go home. They are building and hoping for a political process that will allow them to get back on track.

“But I don’t rule out that if we don’t manage to stabilize this situation politically, humanely, that all of a sudden we see similar movements as we’ve seen in other regions when people lose hope,” he added.

The Red Cross chief also highlighted the inaccessibility of emergency supplies plus how the conflict is distorting the lives of many civilians.

He further disclosed that Libyans he had interacted with expressed fatigue with the ongoing situation. “The Libyan people, at least all the people I meet who are the beneficiaries of our actions, are fed up with this conflict, want to end this conflict, want a return to a normality they experienced before. While the actors [of the conflict], I don’t think they are there yet.”

Tripoli’s sole functioning airport of Mitiga, frequently shut down by shelling, suspended flights for several hours after it was hit by a rocket strike before resuming operations.

Separately, the Libyan and Tunisian authorities agreed to permit entry of some goods and commodities of foreign origin from Tunisia to Libya through the joint land outlets after it was banned for nearly two years.

This agreement came during a meeting held on Tuesday in Tunisia between officials from the ministry of economy and customs authority of both sides.

The two sides emphasized overcoming difficulties and to resolve the obstacles hindering the flow of goods between the two countries, in the framework of joint trade cooperation, according to the information office of Libya’s ministry of economy. — NNN-AGENCIES