A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oxfam deplores violence against protestors in Libya
Oxfam deplores the current violence against protestors in Libya which has led to many hundreds of deaths at the hands of the state security forces.
All relevant actors, including the Libyan Government and the Libyan national security forces, have a responsibility to immediately end all violence against civilians.
Oxfam welcomes recent initiatives by the European Union, the African Union, and the League of Arab States, but the international community needs to do more to protect civilians from future violence. In particular, Oxfam urges the UN Security Council to heed the calls of the UN Secretary General and quickly adopt strong targeted measures to ensure that civilians in Libya are protected from continued violence.
The international community must take immediate and concerted action, including:
- Intensive diplomatic pressure on the government of Libya to respect human rights, end the violence against its own citizens and protect civilians from any further violence
- Ensuring the provision of adequate humanitarian assistance both inside Libya and in neighbouring countries that are receiving people fleeing from the violence, with contingency planning for greater levels of need. Oxfam as a humanitarian agency is ready to assist
- Monitor the level of access of the population to essential goods, especially food, since three-quarters of food supply is imported
- Maintain open land borders, as now, so that persons fleeing the violence are able to cross to safety, and relief supplies can be sent in
- Proper treatment of all asylum seekers in the countries where they seek refuge, in accordance with states' obligations under the Refugee Convention
- Prohibition of all arms transfers to Libya, and to other states that might provide arms to Libya, including in this prohibition conventional weapons, police and security equipment, ammunition and military transport vehicles
- Freezing the assets of Col. Gaddafi and his family, as well as that of senior military and security leaders
- Monitoring the use of aircraft, and if used to perpetrate violence against civilians then considering the option of creating a no-fly zone if necessary
- Establishment of an international commission of inquiry into alleged grave violations of international human rights law in Libya.
The UN Security Council statements to date have not been strong enough. There needs to be an immediate formal resolution agreed in support of these measures. And governments around the world and multilateral institutions need to follow suit and take concrete action to prevent any further violence.
Oxfam as a humanitarian agency is ready to assist.
Louis Belanger, Oxfam Humanitarian Media Officer, +1 917 224 0834, email@example.com, @louis_press