A United Nations official has condemned the disruption of water flow in Libya’s coastal cities, terming it a “weapon of war”.
The country’s UN humanitarian coordinator Yacoub El Hillo said the week-long water disruption has affected more than two million people who live in Tripoli and its environs.
The disruption has been blamed on members of an armed group in Shwerif, a region 350 km southeast of Tripoli under control of forces loyal to eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar.
“Such individual acts to collectively punish millions of innocent people are abhorrent and must stop immediately,” said El Hillo.
“Water should never be used as a pressure card nor as a weapon of war.”
Libya has been dogged by war since December 2011, and the situation heightened in early 2019 when rebel General Khalifa Hafter pledged to take over Tripoli from the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
Hafter announced in early December a final push to take over the capital from al-Sarraj’s government, unleashing heavy clashes on the southern edges of the city.
The armed group in Shwerif is reportedly demanding the release of some of its members detained in Tripoli.