UNITED NATIONS, September 15 - As armed conflict spreads in Libya the new UN envoy to Libya said Monday that continued fighting in various regions of the country hampers efforts aimed at resolving the current crisis.
"Efforts aimed at resolving the current crisis and resuming the political process cannot make progress against the background of continued fighting," Bernardino Leon told the Security Council.
According to Leon, "in the east, renewed military confrontations in Benghazi threaten to exact an increasingly heavier toll on the civilian population. In the west, an unrelenting campaign of indiscriminate shelling continues to target large sections of the Warshafana area near Tripoli."
More specifically, Leon said, there are camps in Tripoli "housing displaced members of the Tawergha community, one of which was attacked on August 30" and has now been "vacated for fear for shelling and abductions."
Until September 1, Leon was the European Union's Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean. Now two weeks after taking over the UN envoy position from Tarek Mitri, Leon said he has "reminded all parties of their obligation not to take hostages and to treat anyone they have detained humanely in the course of the recent fighting."
Leon concluded on Monday that he plans further visits to Libya.
"Our engagement will remain solidly anchored in the principles of unbiased engagement with all parties, and that of non-intervention in Libya's internal affairs and respect for its national sovereignty," the envoy stressed.