Libya

The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/67/845–S/2013/245) issued on 15 May 2013.

In 2012, children in Libya remained affected by tensions that escalated into armed confrontations, mainly in Bani Walid, Kufra, Sirte, Zliten and Sabha, in some instances involving the use of heavy weapons. It should be noted that access to conflict areas and affected populations remained extremely limited throughout the reporting period and that security-related travel restrictions by the United Nations continued to limit the gathering of information. Increased control by the Government notwithstanding, many armed brigades continued to display a lack of discipline and command structure, which led in some instances to grave violations against children.

The United Nations received allegations of use of children by armed brigades and observed children carrying weapons on several occasions. During the conflict in Kufra in February 2012, for example, children were seen carrying weapons, manning checkpoints and securing buildings with both the Zwaya and Tabu brigades. In June 2012, the United Nations observed boys between 16 and 18 years of age carrying weapons in Kufra.

Child casualties were reported as a result of armed confrontations among brigades, and between brigades and the Libyan army or the Libya Shield brigade (an auxiliary unit of the Libyan army). In accordance with the information received from the United Nations and its partners, at least 12 children (8 boys and 4 girls) were killed and 33 (29 boys and 4 girls) injured in crossfire or through the use of heavy weaponry. In view of the lack of access to affected areas and the limited disaggregated data, it is likely that the number of child casualties remains underreported. In May and June 2012, the Kufra General Hospital registered 10 child casualties, including 2 children killed during armed confrontations between the Zwaya and Tabu brigades. Incidents relating to explosive remnants of war also led to 22 child casualties, mainly in Misrata, Zintan, Kufra, Sirte and Gharyan.

According to the Ministry of Education, five schools in Benghazi were attacked while being used as polling stations. On 6 July 2012, one school used for the elections was targeted by small arms fire and improvised explosive devices. On 28 July 2012, an improvised explosive device was dismantled at a school in Abdelrwak, Buhdeima area, which was being used as a polling station. Schools were also attacked when used as shelters for internally displaced persons. On 24 June 2012, in the Zwaya area of Kufra, a school sheltering 20 internally displaced persons was hit by a rocket from the Tabu area, injuring at least five children.

During the reporting period, armed confrontations also resulted in damage to health facilities. Sabha Central Hospital was attacked in April 2012 during the fighting between Tabu brigades and an Arab brigade. In October 2012, a hospital in Bani Walid was severely damaged and its equipment destroyed or looted by armed brigades, including the Libya Shield, the Misrata Shield and the 28 May brigades, during confrontations with the social council of Warfalla tribes. In view of the limited security of the medical facilities in Sabha at the time of the fighting in September 2012, combatants carried weapons inside the health facilities. On 24 March 2012, two individuals, including a nurse, were shot inside the hospital. On 11 September 2012, fighting between Alqmazfah Algdadfa tribesmen and the Supreme Security Committee, which is under control of the Ministry of the Interior, took place inside the Sabha medical centre while patients were being treated. In addition, the United Nations received allegations of threats against medical personnel. On 21 September 2012, medical staff in Sabha protested against the deterioration of the security situation in the hospital, claiming that several staff had been attacked and others threatened.

The United Nations recorded several cases of hampering of access for humanitarian assistance in conflict-affected areas, including through abduction, attacks or threats against humanitarian personnel, in Kufra, Sabha, Benghazi and Misrata.