Alarmed by the fighting in and around the Libyan city of Bani Walid, the Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has reminded all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and called on all the Libyan authorities and those in Bani Walid to begin immediately a process to resolve the Bani Walid stand-off peacefully.
Mr Ban was particularly concerned about the reports indicating growing civilian casualties due to indiscriminate shelling and said that he is of the firm conviction that the Libyan authorities must be able to extend Libyan sovereignty and state control and services throughout the territory of Libya.
Following their historic July elections, the Libyan people put their trust in the Libyan state, and the UN Secretary-General is urging all Libyans to work together to strengthen the legitimacy and effectiveness of state institutions across the country.
He said that the state and those militias acting in its name also have a responsibility to the people of Libya to act fully in accordance with international law, in particular international human rights law. All those involved in the fighting in and around Bani Walid should be aware that the international community is closely monitoring the situation.
Mr Ban believes that the situation in Bani Walid can be resolved in a peaceful manner that preserves the rights of all Libyan citizens and permits the state to exercise its responsibilities there. The Secretary-General notes that his Special Representative in Libya is actively engaged in helping to defuse and resolve the Bani Walid stand-off.
Meanwhile, about 500 protesters broke into the grounds of Libya’s parliament building on Sunday to demand an end to violence in Bani Walid tha has been shelled by militias from Misurata who have aligned with the Defence Ministry, for several days.
State news agency LANA said on Sunday that 22 people had been killed and 200 wounded in the fighting.
“We are here to demand the government find a peaceful solution for the tribal war that is happening in Bani Walid,” a protester was quoted saying.