After months under a military blockade, hundreds of civilians in a Benghazi neighborhood are trapped due to intensified fighting. Amnesty International has expressed concern for detainees who were abducted and trapped under fire in a Benghazi neighborhood. Amnesty International gathered testimonies from members of the hundreds of families who have been trapped for months in the residential district of Ganfouda, located in southwest Libya.
One such testimony was by a local man named Mohamad, who described to a reporter at Amnesty International: “Children look like skin and bones because of the lack of food and poor nutrition… If they could just drop us some food for the children or get them out of here, even if that meant leaving the rest of us, that would be fine.”
According to these testimonies, all entry roads into the neighborhood are obstructed by a military blockade, intensified military fighting, or by the Libyan National Army forces, leaving the citizens with no access to food, water, and electricity.
Libya, as have most States, have recognized and adopted the Geneva Conventions for times of war. In particular, Libya adopted the fourth Geneva Convention, which was created with the concern of civilians during warfare. This Convention states the obligations of the ratified State, including a provision specifically on relief for civilian populations in an occupied warzone.
The civilians of Ganfouda are caught in the middle of a warzone with no foreseeable end in sight. The Libyan government has an obligation under the Geneva Convention to ensure its citizens are safe and away from the dangerous battlefield conditions.
Image and Article Source: Amnesty International USA, Libya: Civilians trapped in Benghazi in desperate conditions as fighting encroaches, Amnesty International Press Release (Sept. 29, 2016), http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/libya-civilians-trapped-in-benghazi-in-desperate-conditions-as-fighting-encroaches