UN Libya mission denies enabling anti-Government forces to target medical facilities

epa04665320 Fighters loyal to Libya's parliament General National Congress (GNC) prepare to launch attacks as they continue to fight Islamic State (IS) on the outskirts city of Sirte, Libya, 16 March 2015. According to reports, pro-government militia and fighters affiliated to the IS are fighting over control of Sirte, hometown of slain Libyan dictator Gaddafi. EPA/STR

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The UN Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL,  strongly denied “rumours” that it has been sharing coordinates of field hospitals and clinics with forces loyal to the self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging a military campaign to take the capital from the UN-recognized Government since April.

UNSMIL “strongly condemns attacks on all civilian targets including health facilities and medical personnel” having documented at least 58 attacks on health workers and health facilities so far this year.

The mission said it “categorically denies rumours that it has received coordinates for field hospitals and field clinics operating south of Tripoli, and passed them on to one of the parties to the conflict. UNSMIL reiterates that it has not received any coordinates for field hospitals and field clinics and has not provided such information to any party to the conflict.”

Reports emerged online on Thursday, quoting an Anti-Terrorism Force spokesperson, alleging that drones had been deployed by rebel militia after UNSMIL had been given the positions of facilities, leading to an increase in attacks.

“The UN stresses that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian and human rights law and may constitute war crimes”, the UNSMIL statement continued.



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