UNSMIL and UNSC condemn Benghazi Saturday explosion that killed three staff and injured others including two staff

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 12 August 2019:

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and UNSMIL head, Ghassan Salame, condemned on Saturday ‘‘in the strongest possible terms’’ the explosion that took place on the same day, in front of a shopping mall in Benghazi. The UN Security Council also condemned the fatal incident on Sunday.

The fatal explosion resulted in the death of three UN staff and injury of two others, as well as the injury to other civilians.

“This cowardly attack, which comes at a time when Libyans are out shopping in preparation for the Eid al-Adha, serves as another strong reminder of the urgent need for Libyans to stop fighting, set aside their differences and work together through dialogue and not violence to end the conflict in Libya,” Salame said.

“This attack will not discourage us, nor will it prevent us from carrying on with our duties to bring about peace, stability and prosperity to Libya and its people,” he added.

Salame emphasized that the commitment of the parties to the terms of the Eid truce sends an irrevocable message that the blood of Libyans, and UN staff, both internationals and Libyans, who worked side by side with the Libyan people to achieve a better future for all Libyans, was not shed in vain in this heinous explosion.

The fatal explosion was also condemned as a ”terrorist act” by the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council and Government of National Accord in Tripoli. The House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk condemned it as a ”cowardly terror act”.

In its condemnation statement, the European Union called it a ”contemptible” and ”worrying development in the Libyan crisis”. It added that it was ”crucial that all Libyan parties abide by the truce” brokered by UNSMIL and ”build on it to achieve a lasting ceasefire and a return to political negotiations”.

The UN Security Council, meanwhile, condemned ”in the strongest terms the attack on a UN Convoy on 10 August 2019 in Benghazi. Those behind the attack should be identified and held accountable”. it added on Sunday.

It reaffirmed the messages set out in its press statement of 5 August 2019, including their full support for the Ghassan Salame’s leadership.

The Security Council welcomed and expressed full support for the truce between the parties over Eid al-Adha. This truce should be accompanied by confidence-building measures between the parties, with the aim of ensuring this truce can turn into a lasting ceasefire, it added.

It said that lasting peace and stability in Libya, including an end to the worsening humanitarian crisis, will come only through a political solution and the parties should engage without delay under the auspices of the UN.

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