Three UN workers killed following Benghazi car bomb attack, as Security Council meets in emergency session, honours their ‘ultimate sacrifice’

Photo: UNSMIL/Iason Athanasiadis A view of old town in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. The city was the site of a car bomb attack that left three UN staffers, and other civilians, dead.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday condemned a car bomb attack in front of a shopping mall in the Libyan city of Benghazi, which left three UN workers dead, and three others injured, with dozens of civilians also wounded.

The Security Council convened an emergency session in New York later in the day,to discuss the latest developments impacting the war-torn north African nation.

According to a statement from the UN Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salame, the staff members who died and were injured served with the UN Support Mission in the country, UNSMIL, which he heads. Scores of civilians were also injured by the explosion.

“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”, he said.

Mr. Salame added that “this attack will not discourage us, nor will it prevent us from carrying out our duties to bring about peace, stability and prosperity to Libya and its people.”

Mr. Guterres said in a statement issued by his Spokesperson that he condemned the attack “in the strongest terms”, extending his deepest condolences to the bereaved families. “He calls on the Libyan authorities to spare no effort in identifying and swiftly bringing to justice the perpetrators of this attack”.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to respect the humanitarian truce during Eid al Adha and return to the negotiating table to pursue the peaceful future the people of Libya deserve”, the statement added.

The UN has been attempting to broker a truce in fighting which erupted following a major assault in April on the southern outskirts of the capital Tripoli by the forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

The Benghazi-based LNA has not been able to advance beyond the southern suburbs of Tripoli, but it controls large swathes of eastern and southern Libya, under the command of its leader, Commander Khalifa Haftar. Hundreds of civilians and fighters have been killed in the fighting, while more than a 100,000 have been forced to flee their homes.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands have crossed the border into Tunisia, seeking safety.

According to news reports, in the last 24 hours, both the Government and LNA had accepted a UN proposal for a ceasefire during the holy Muslim holiday of Eid, beginning on Sunday. UNSMIL issued a statement late on Saturday welcoming the agreement “by concerned parties to the principle of humanitarian truce”.

Security Council honours ‘ultimate sacrifice’ of fallen UNSMIL staff

The UN Ambassador for Poland, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council for the month of August, Joanna Wroneka, said on behalf of the 15-member body that they condemned “in the strongest terms, the outrageous, deadly and totally unacceptable attack on the United Nations, that occurred today”.

She conveyed the Members’ deepest condolences to the families of the victims. “Those brave workers were operating under a mandate given by this Council in order to provide a more secure future, for the people of Libya. We commemorate their ultimate sacrifice, in the cause of peace.”

The Security Council observes a moment of silence during an emergency meeting on the situation in Libya, convened after a car bomb attack in Benghazi killed three United Nations staff members and injured two others, among scores of injured Libyan nationals.

UN has no intention ‘to evacuate’ from Libya: Bintou Keita

The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Bintou Keita, briefed the Council late on Saturday afternoon in New York, saying that the attack “serves to highlight the continued danger of terrorism across the country, and the limits of effective security control in the absence of one Government and one military, and police force, working across the country.”

She said it confirmed that the chronic violence and instability “is creating a vacuum easily exploited by radical elements that thrive on chaos and violence” and noted that the attack came in an area “supposedly under full control” of the LNA.

“The UN does not intent to evacuate from Libya” she said pointedly. “For the forseeable future, our place remains alongside the Libyan people, like our brave colleagues who gave their lives today.”

Ms. Keita expressed hope that both sides would abide by the Eid truce” in good faith, to their public commitment. Senseless and absurd violence needs to stop.”

She noted that Libya was incapable of pushing back against terrorism, “the tragedy of illegal migration” or the continued collapse of its economy, without pulling together in search of a common political solution through an agreed political process.

UNSMIL had worked hard in the days leading up to the truce. “It is essential that this truce is deepened and strengthened” through confidence-building measures such as prisoner exchanges, she urged, “and that the parties move quickly forward to an international meeting to recommit to a roadmap to transition the country from conflict, back to the peaceful, democratic process.”

She warned that “the continued brutal descent of southern Libya into chaos, and inter-communal fueds is a disturbing harbinger of what may ensue should the wider conflict persist.”                     

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Coronavirus response: over €1 billion from EU Cohesion policy to support Spain’s recovery

The hidden pandemic: mental illness

JADE Team at the European Business Summit 2017

Populist Eurosceptics helped by Trumpists seriously threaten the EU edifice

A Sting Exclusive: “Entrepreneurship in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) era” written by the Vice-President of Junior Enterprises Europe

‘Endemic’ sexual violence surging in South Sudan: UN human rights office

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

Climate changes and the imminent public health crises

Eurozone recession subsides

More funds needed to counter ‘persistent and multi-faceted humanitarian problems’ in Ethiopia

Cohesion Policy after 2020: preparing the future of EU investments in health

On their epic journeys, migratory birds connect nations and inspire people, UN says on World Day

Rapid action needed for people to meet challenges of changing world of work

Libya ‘in race against time’, but dissolving conflict ‘a realistic prospect’, Security Council hears

Why India can show us how to achieve growth with purpose

Opening – February plenary session, 27 new seats

Telemedicine and the Brazilian reality

This is what great leadership looks like in the digital age

UNESCO food and culture forum dishes up fresh serving of SDGs

‘True’ peace, requires standing up for human rights, says UN chief Guterres

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

WhatsApp to face scrutiny from EU regulators task force over data sharing with Facebook

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: funding for Palestine refugees, families today, tech surveillance

UN and African Union in ‘common battle’ for development and climate change financing

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

They won this year’s Nobel for economics. Here’s why their work matters

Living to 100: why we should plan for more sushi, chocolate and work

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

Restore hope that peace will come to the Middle East, UN negotiator urges Security Council

Seaweed straws and loose-leaf tea: 6 ways to reduce plastic waste

South Sudan ‘heading towards lasting peace and stability’, UN General Assembly told

3 ways activists are being targeted by cyberattacks

Facts and prejudices about work

How global tech companies can champion ethical AI

Universal Health Coverage in the EU: Are we really leaving no one behind?

Easier Schengen Visas for non-EU holiday makers: A crucial issue for south Eurozone countries

Yemen agreement to end southern power struggle ‘important step’ towards peace: UN Special Envoy

System value can power the energy transition in emerging markets

Future of Insurance Claims in Focus at Fourth Annual Connected Claims Europe Summit

The multidisciplinary team facing the multidrug resistant form of Tuberculosis in the state of Amazonas (Brazil)

Ukraine pays the price for lying between Russia and the EU

UN experts urge Turkey to repatriate Irish woman associated with terror group

We won’t win the online security war without people power

Across the world, women outlive men. This is why

A ‘system value’ approach can accelerate the energy transition. Here’s how

How tiny countries top social and economic league tables (and win at football, too)

Geopolitics and investment in emerging markets after COVID-19

The blackened white coat of the doctors

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

Conference on Future of Europe should start “as soon as possible in autumn 2020”

Roma integration: fight social exclusion, poverty and anti-gypsyism, MEPs demand

Car rentals: EU action leads to clearer and more transparent pricing

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

Key quotes from China’s Premier Li on COVID-19, the economy and US relations

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Coronavirus: Commission Statement on consulting Member States on proposal to prolong and adjust State aid Temporary Framework

3 ways to stop COVID-19 from drying up start-up talent pools

UN launches ‘South-South Galaxy’ knowledge-sharing platform in Buenos Aires

Investors have a role in securing our shared digital future

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s