WHO, OCHA call for temporary ceasefire in Libya as death toll hits 264

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Members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces take position during the fighting with the Eastern forces in Ain Zara, in Tripoli, Libya April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Members of the Libyan UN-backed government forces take position during the fighting with the Eastern forces in Ain Zara, in Tripoli, Libya April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

The World Health Organisation says 264 people have now died and 1,266 others have been injured in clashes between the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government’s forces around Libya’s capital Tripoli.

The WHO and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have both called for a temporary ceasefire and asked all parties to respect international humanitarian law.

The latest call for a ceasefire comes as Eastern Libyan forces said on Monday that they would intensify an assault on Tripoli.

The Libyan National Army (LNA), loyal to Commander Khalifa Haftar, launched an offensive but has not yet been unable to break the city’s defences in the south.

Forces loyal to the United Nations-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj drove back the LNA recently to the southern suburb of Ain Zara, the main scene of fighting.

The offensive triggered the latest outbreak of violence in the country since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

It also threatens to disrupt oil flows, foment migration across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and allow jihadists to exploit the power vacuum.

If a ceasefire is called, as demanded by the United Nations, the LNA would gain a considerable amount of territory, as they still control much of the area south of Tripoli.

CGTN’s Guy Henderson, gave us this LIVE report from Benghazi.

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