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Military mobilization around Sirte threatening 125,000 Libyans: UN

Military mobilization around Sirte threatening 125,000 Libyans: UN

Increased military mobilization around Libya's coastal city of Sirte is threatening 125,000 civilians, raising fears of a humanitarian disaster, according to the UN.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that its humanitarian partners were concerned about the fragile situation should the escalation and mobilization around Sirte lead to military operations.

Across Libya, humanitarian organizations have reached about 75,000 internally displaced people, approximately 128,000 vulnerable, conflict-affected Libyans and recent returnees and 66,000 migrants and refugees, two-thirds of the overall target.

Further complicating the situation, the OCHA said that coronavirus cases are increasing exponentially across the country, with 44,985 infections and 656 deaths.

The closure of health facilities due to a lack of resources, staff contracting Covid-19, fuel shortages and power cuts has noticeably affected the functioning of health services, it added.

A recent rapid survey carried out in the internationally recognized capital of Tripoli found that of 92 primary health care facilities that were functioning before the pandemic, only 54 are still operational.

Across the country, Covid-19 testing, tracing and treatment capacity remains extremely low, with services concentrated mainly in Tripoli and Benghazi.

The only coronavirus test lab in the south has been closed for 10 days due to extended power cuts and diesel fuel shortages..