Libya: hardship and danger remain
International Committee of the Red Cross
16 February 2012
Thousands of people remain in detention, individual lives and communities continue to be threatened by unexploded devices, and many families are still trying to find out what happened to their missing loved ones. The ICRC is pressing ahead with its humanitarian work.
Effective monitoring of the situation of detainees
ICRC delegates currently visit approximately 8,500 detainees in more than 60 places of detention. About 10 per cent of the people held are foreign nationals.
"We pay particular attention to the treatment of detainees and stress that their dignity must be respected at all times," said Georges Comninos, the head of the ICRC's delegation in Libya. "The current situation is complex and challenging, with many places of detention and many different authorities in charge." The ICRC has called upon the authorities at various levels to ensure that detainees are handed over to the Ministry of Justice and are placed in suitable detention facilities as soon as possible. (…)
(…) ICRC visits take place regularly. The organization's delegates talk in private with detainees of their choice in order to monitor the conditions in which these people are being held and the treatment they receive. All detention facilities and all detainees must be visited. The ICRC also looks into the detainees' need for medical attention, and detainees are given the opportunity to contact their families. (…)
(…) To date, many areas affected by fighting remain contaminated by unexploded ordnance. This continues to pose a serious threat to civilians as they try to get back to the life they had before the conflict. The city of Sirte is the worst affected area in the country. (…)
Access to clean water and health care
In early February the ICRC donated seven new pumps needed to supply clean drinking water to an estimated 32,000 people in the town of Al Qubah and 12 villages near Benghazi. "The population had spent three months without an adequate or regular supply of potable water," said Sari Nasreddin, the ICRC delegate in charge of the operation. "The water network stopped functioning because no maintenance was performed on the original pumps during the conflict. People were relying on water-trucking services, which were not able to supply enough water for all those in need." (…)
Family reunited in Sabha
(…) In late June and early July 2011, in cooperation with the Libyan Red Crescent, the ICRC carried out a large-scale maritime transfer to reunite several hundred families dispersed by the conflict.
Approached by grief-stricken families, the ICRC is providing the authorities with technical support and advice to help them in their efforts to clarify the fate of hundreds of missing people.
To read the full report, see here.