By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 26 January 2014:
The situation in Sebha is calm at present according to the head of the . . .[restrict]local council but no troops have arrived there. The death toll in communal clashes over the past fortnight is being put at 99, with 139 wounded.
Sebha Council leader Ayoub Alzaroug, told the Libya Herald today that situation was calm but tense as residents awaited the arrival of security forces. No troops had come from any part of the country so far, he said.
Yesterday, Sebha’s military commander, Mohammed Al-Busaify, also denied reports from LANA that forces had arrived in the strife-torn southern regional capital.
According to the official spokesman for the General Chief of Staff, Ali Alshaikhi, forces – mainly Misratan – that are supposed to be deployed in Sebha were still in Jufra. The reason why they had not yet moved was “classified”, he told this paper today today.
The figure of 99 died and 139 wounded was confirmed by Sebha Central Hospital staff member Abdallah Owheda. He added that the children’s section remained closed due to the lack of specialist staff and the maternity section was facing a severe shortage of equipment.
The United Nations has meanwhile expressed concern about the number of people who have been forced to leave their homes in an around Sebha because of the clashed. Its Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya, Georg Charpentier, said that hundreds of families had been displaced, causing an additional burden to those who had taken them in and to medical services in the region.
“Some relief assistance is being provided mainly by local and central authorities with support from the UN Agencies and other national and international humanitarian partners,” Charpentier said today. This included non-food items, food supplies, and medicines for hospitals. More would be delivered in the next 48 hours “accompanied by a UN team who will meet with representatives of the population, listen to their grievances and support the ongoing humanitarian efforts”.
As a result of the clashes, the UN said, the south was suffering from shortages of food supplies, medicine, fuel and money in the banks, and hospitals in Sebha, Obari and Murzuk were finding it difficult to treat all the casualties.
Charpentier called on all sides to end the violence and guarantee the protection of civilians as well as allow the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian support and ensure that assistance goes to all that need it. [/restrict]