UN Security Council condemns car bomb attack in Libya

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The United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence to the three UN staff members killed in the Benghazi car bomb attack at the UN headquarters in New York, Aug. 10, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

United Nations Security Council on Saturday strongly condemned the car bomb attack in Benghazi, Libya, in which three UN staff members were killed and several others injured.

At an urgent meeting on the situation in Libya requested to be held by France, Joanna Wronecka, Polish UN ambassador and Council president for August, read out a statement of the Council members to express their strong condemnation on the attack.

"On behalf of the members of the Security Council, I would like to condemn in the strongest terms the outrageous, deadly and totally unacceptable attack on United Nations that occurred today in Benghazi, Libya," she said.

"The members of the Security Council convey their deepest condolences to the families of the victims," she said, adding that those brave workers were operating under a mandate given by the Council "in order to provide a more secure future for the people of Libya."

The Council members commemorate their "ultimate sacrifice" for the sake of peace, she added.

Wronecka asked Council members and others attending the meeting to observe a moment of silence for those killed.

The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Bintou Keita, briefed the Council, saying that the attack "serves to highlight the continued danger of terrorism across the country, and the limits of effective security control in the absence of one government and one military, and police force, working across the country."

She said it confirmed that the chronic violence and instability "is creating a vacuum easily exploited by radical elements that thrive on chaos and violence" and noted that the attack came in an area "supposedly under full control" of the forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).

"The UN does not intent to evacuate from Libya," she said. "For the foreseeable future, our place remains alongside the Libyan people, like our brave colleagues who gave their lives today."

Keita expressed the hope that both sides would abide by the Eid truce "in good faith, to their public commitment. Senseless and absurd violence needs to stop."

The UN has been attempting to broker a truce in fighting which erupted following a major assault in April on the southern outskirts of the capital Tripoli by the forces of the LNA and forces loyal to the UN-backed government of national accord.

Talking about the significance of the truce, Anne Gueguen, deputy permanent representative of France to the UN, said that "this truce is essential to make sure that the situation doesn't deteriorate further, to allow civilians to leave the areas of conflict and to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those who need it."

According to a statement from the UN special representative for Libya, Ghassan Salame, the staff members who died and were injured served with the UN Support Mission in the country, UNSMIL, which he heads. Scores of civilians were also injured by the explosion.

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