News / Africa

Libya Agrees to Give UN Humanitarian Access to Tripoli, Misrata

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos talks to reporters, during a press conference in Benghazi, Libya Monday, April 18, 2011.
U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos talks to reporters, during a press conference in Benghazi, Libya Monday, April 18, 2011.
Margaret Besheer

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Budapest Monday that the U.N. has reached an agreement with the government of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya to establish a humanitarian presence in Tripoli.  U.N. officials also say Mr. Gadhafi’s government has promised them access to the besieged rebel city of Misrata.

U.N. Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York that the agreement has several elements.

"Our understanding is that the government of Libya has agreed to facilitate a humanitarian presence in Tripoli. Among other things, they have agreed to facilitate the provision of equipment for international staff, and also agreed on steps to allow for the entry of international staff. The Libyan government said it would ensure unimpeded access through the Tunisian border into Libya up to Tripoli, and said it would ensure safe passage for humanitarian workers to areas where government of Libya is in control," he said.

U.N. Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos was in Tripoli on Saturday and in Benghazi on Sunday along with the secretary-general’s special envoy for Libya, Abdel-Elah al-Khatib.

Amos’ spokesperson, Stephanie Bunker, said in addition to access to Tripoli, the humanitarian chief discussed with the Libyan authorities the possibility of sending a U.N. team to the besieged rebel-held city of Misrata to assess humanitarian needs there.

"The government did agree to that and the government said that it would do everything possible to ensure that such a mission could go to Misrata safely from Tripoli, so that is where we are right now," she said.

She said the U.N. plans to send staff into Tripoli and then to Misrata to assess what is or is not needed. "Once we have that information, it all starts with the information, once we have that information, then we look at what do we need to get, to send and to get it in, and how can we do that," she said.

Bunker said the U.N. has staff in Cairo that is ready to go to Tripoli once access is established. She said from Tripoli they could move to Misrata very quickly, adding they could be there in a matter of "days" if the agreement holds. The U.N. already has an aid operation in the rebel-controlled eastern city of Benghazi.

While in Libya, humanitarian chief Amos and special envoy Al-Khatib were unable to persuade the Libyan government to agree to a cessation of hostilities in Misrata, where, despite a NATO-enforced No-Fly Zone, the city has continued to be attacked with shells and rockets.

The United Nations has appealed for $311 million for emergency humanitarian needs in Libya. Less than half that amount has been received so far.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs