UNITED NATIONS, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – A record number of Libyans are leaving the country amid new airstrikes, outgoing UN Libya envoy, Tarek Mitri, told the UN Security Council Wednesday.
“In Tripoli, we have seen an unprecedented movement of population in an attempt to escape the fighting,” Mitri said.
“The damage inflict on the public institutions in Tripoli’s southern and western sections – including the airport, the main oil depot, roads and bridges – is nothing less than tragic,” he added.
Despite the destruction of the airport, many are leaving the Tripoli airport and the country as a whole.
“Conservative figures for those displaced are estimated at over 100,000, with at least another 150,000 having sought refuge abroad, including workers, who also fled the country,” Mitri said.
The UN Support Mission in Libya has pulled out its international staff, including Mitri, who is to be replaced as UN envoy by Bernardino Leon of Spain on September 1.
On August 7, a small team led by Mitri’s deputy traveled to Tripoli to explore options for an unconditional ceasefire.
“While all engaged constructively with our proposals, it is clear that more work is needed to overcome mistrust between the parties to the conflict,” he said.
Libya is currently facing its worst wave of violence since the 2011 overthrow of the country’s long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war. Clashes between government forces and Islamist-allied militias, armed with weapons, seized from Gaddafi government ammunition depots, have continued in the country for months. Many countries are evacuating their citizens and diplomatic staff from the country.