New York, Aug 30 2011 10:10AM
The United Nations voiced “extreme alarm” today at reports of “atrocious human rights violations” in Libya, including
mass summary executions apparently carried out by Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi’s forces in the last few days before they
lost Tripoli, the capital.
“We are also deeply concerned about reports that there are still thousands of people unaccounted for who were arrested
or taken prisoner by Qadhafi security forces either earlier in the conflict, or before it even started,” UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesperson Rupert Colville told a news briefing in Geneva
“Given the gruesome discoveries that have taken place over the past few days, there is good reason to be extremely
concerned for their safety. We urge any members of the former regime in a position to reveal where prisoners have been
held to do so, before more lives are lost.”
Mr. Colville stressed it was of the utmost importance that these crimes and other serious violations of international
human rights law be properly fully investigated as the first steps towards accountability and justice for the victims
and their families.
“We once again urge both sides to exercise restraint and refrain from committing further human rights violations or acts
Meanwhile the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up its logistical support
for the humanitarian relief effort in the strife-torn North African country, sending in urgent supplies of food, water,
medicine and fuel to Tripoli, the coastal areas and the Nafusa mountain region where rebels, recognized by much of the
international community, have ousted pro-Qadhafi forces.
The aid includes 600 tons of staple food commodities – including wheat flour, pasta, vegetable oil and tomato paste –
for distribution by the Libyan Red Crescent for more than 35,500 conflict-affected and displaced people for one month.
A WFP vessel is carrying 500,000 litres of water on behalf of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) from Malta to Tripoli and,
at the request of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), is looking to procure 250,000 tons of petrol to cover
immediate life-saving needs for one month.
Fuel supplies have been disrupted by the fighting, and water and electricity depend on fuel-run generators. Fuel is also
required for hospitals, ambulances and vehicles to distribute critically needed medicines, food, water, and other
Last week WFP delivered 500 tons of food to the Gheryan area in north-western Libya, where an estimated 200,000 people
are in need of food, and has completed delivery of another 495 tons of mixed food to the Zliten region, enough to feed
15,000 people for one month.
Aug 30 2011 10:10AM
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news