The U.S. Embassy shares immediate concerns about yet another humanitarian crisis in Libya, this time in Sirte. Having worked with Libyans and others in the international community to help Sirte recover following the ISIS occupation, there is a special interest in ensuring the people of this city do not have to experience another devastating battle in their city. Continued escalation in Sirte will only compound the suffering of civilians, sow divisions that can potentially be exploited by extremist actors, and divert resources away from COVID-19 response.
We join UNSMIL in calling on all parties to the conflict in Libya to de-escalate, respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, and refrain from acts of retribution and vandalism which unlawfully target civilians and civilian infrastructure. Violators will be held accountable.
The U.S. Embassy appreciates our partnership with the people of Sirte and local community leaders who continue on the long road to recovery. Since 2016, the U.S. Government through the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development, has provided over $25 million in stabilization and early recovery efforts to consolidate the defeat of ISIS and build for a peaceful future.