Libya: call to refrain from use of explosive weapons in populated areas
Yesterday (17 March 2011) the UN’s Humanitarian Chief, Baroness Amos, called for parties to the conflict in Libya to refrain from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The full statement read:
I am gravely concerned at reports of the increasing use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Libya.
The sustained shelling and bombardment of areas populated by civilians is causing widespread suffering. Moreover, the damage to buildings and infrastructure will lead to long term and far reaching problems for people as they try to rebuild their lives after fighting has ceased.
In this regard, I am particularly concerned at the potential humanitarian consequences of an assault on the city of Benghazi. I would call on the parties to take all possible measures to spare civilians from the effects of hostilities. That includes refraining from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
This statement reinforces the perspective built up by NGOs such as AOAV that has issued two updates on the impact of explosive weapons in populated areas of Libya – Explosive weapons in Libya 1 (28 February 2011), Explosive weapons in Libya 2 (17 March 2011).