UN delivery of humanitarian aid could be hampered in Libya

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08 April 2019, Libya, Tripoli: A military transport helicopter lies on the runway of the Mitiga International (Photo by Stringer/picture alliance via Getty Images)
A plane sits on the tarmac after landing at Mitiga airport a few days after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there, on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on January 20, 2018. – The Libyan capital’s only working international airport (Photo by Mahmud(Photo by MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame, is worried about the “repeated indiscriminate” shelling targeting Tripoli’s Mitiga airport.

“These attacks have continued unabated since the start of the LNA [ Libyan National Army] offensive against Tripoli on April 4 despite the United Nations’ calls for the protection of all civilian infrastructure and for precautions to protect the civilian population”, stated Mr. Salame.

(Photo MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

The attacks on the main airport are likely to interfere with the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage season, as the worshipers might find it hard to travel from western Libya.

On Saturday, after projectiles hit the immediate vicinity of the taxiway used by commercial airliners, more than 250 pilgrims were forced to seek alternative arrangements.

The UN envoy is worried about the broader impact of the fighting on the thousands of civilians trapped in front-line areas and the hundreds of thousands of displaced.

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