Libya

The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/69/926–S/2015/409) issued on 5 June 2015.

The security situation in Libya deteriorated sharply in 2014, particularly in the fourth quarter of the year. Internal armed conflicts erupted in various parts of the country, including in its two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. Humanitarian and monitoring access remained severely limited owing to security reasons and relief operations were suspended almost entirely following the relocation of United Nations international staff out of the country.

Although no verified information on the recruitment and use of children was available, concerns persisted over the association of children with armed militias. Furthermore, in May, during “Operation Dignity” in eastern Libya, forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar allegedly detained dozens of males, possibly also children, based on their nationality, political or religious affiliation. This reportedly included a 17-year-old boy, who had allegedly been detained with three other youths, and who was tortured and died in custody in Benghazi.

The United Nations received numerous reports of indiscriminate shelling by all parties to the conflict, as well as of the deliberate destruction of homes in Warshafana and Benghazi. Following the escalation of the conflict in May, the United Nations received reports of about 30 children killed across the country, but the actual number is likely to be underreported.

The shelling of hospitals in Tripoli and Benghazi severely affected children’s access to health care. Both the Al-Afya Hospital and the Tripoli Medical Centre were hit by shells in July and August, respectively. In November, four medical staff were reportedly abducted from the Hawari General Hospital but managed to escape, while another was shot dead, resulting in the resignation of many staff.

Reports of the use of schools and hospitals by armed groups were also a cause for concern. For instance, in Benghazi, Ansar al-Shari’a reportedly took control of the General Hospital and placed snipers on the roof. Many schools in eastern Libya had been closed since May due to the security situation, including those hosting internally displaced persons.

In the West, armed groups, either affiliated with the Libya Dawn coalition or rival armed groups from Warshafana or Zintan, abducted children in the aft ermath of the fighting in Tripoli, as well as during the fighting in Warshafana. In addition, human rights defenders reportedly received threats from armed groups that their children would be abducted and killed if they did not stop their work.