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The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is gravely concerned about the military escalation following the attack launched by the Libyan National Army on 4 April and the subsequent fighting around Tripoli. More than 100 people have lost their lives and thousands more have been forced to flee.
The centre of the Libyan capital came under rocket fire last night. At least six civilians died as a result of the attack.
Switzerland calls on all parties to the conflict to put an end to military operations and guarantee a truce to allow humanitarian operations to proceed. It also calls on all parties to meet their obligations under international humanitarian law and to ensure the protection of the civilian population. It condemns the use of heavy artillery by all parties and, in particular, the bombardments that have hit medical and educational facilities in recent days, and reiterates that targeting civilian facilities is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. Switzerland is also particularly concerned about the situation of the migrants held in detention centres near to combat zones and calls for every effort to be made on all sides to ensure their safety and protection.
A peaceful transition in Libya can only be achieved through dialogue and an inclusive political solution. The FDFA therefore calls on all parties to support the efforts of the United Nations and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ghassan Salamé, to seek a political solution. It reiterates its support for these efforts, which are the only way to find a solution that is acceptable to all sections of Libyan society and that guarantees equitable distribution of the country's resources.
Switzerland also calls on all members of the international community to join in unified, consistent support for the political process and to reject a military solution.
Switzerland remains active in Libya through peacebuilding and humanitarian aid efforts, in addition to migration-related projects. Its humanitarian commitments support the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross and organisations active around the country. Switzerland is also involved in conflict transformation and the promotion of human rights and international humanitarian law. Furthermore, it supports the work of the United Nations to back inclusive processes under way in parallel to the National Conference, which had been scheduled to take place in recent days. It also supports local mediation processes in order for all actors to be associated more closely in political action.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Federal Council, Switzerland.