Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Libya

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the military escalation at the Brak al-Shati air base in southern Libya and calls on all parties to exercise restraint and restore calm. He is particularly disturbed by the high number of fatalities as well as reports of summary executions of civilians, which, if confirmed, may constitute war crimes. The continued insecurity in Libya is a reminder that there is no military solution. The Secretary General therefore urges all key Libyan stakeholders to re-commit to the political dialogue and engage constructively towards that goal.

The Secretary-General appreciates the efforts of a number of regional and neighbouring countries for their contributions aimed at strengthening the dialogue between key stakeholders in support of the overall UN-led process.

Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Information Centre in Cairo.

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Libya

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Joint Statement on the recent violence around Brak Al-Shatti airbase

In light of recent violence around Brak Al-Shatti airbase in Libya’s south which again risks escalating into renewed conflict, Taking note of relevant UN Security Council resolutions(UNSCRs), including UNSCRs 2213, 2259 and 2278, and our statement of 11 April 2017 concerning violence around Tamanhint airbase, Reiterating our determination to support the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in order to alleviate the suffering of the Libyan people,

We condemn any efforts to change the situation on the ground in Libya by force, which only undermines recent political dialogue and prolongs the suffering of the Libyan people. We are concerned by reports of summary executions of combatants and civilians.

Perpetrators of such criminal acts must be brought to justice. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from further escalation.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: Joint Statement on the recent violence around Brak Al-Shatti airbase

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The African Union Condemns the Attack at Brak Al-Shati Air Base in Southern Libya

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, expresses his profound shock and sadness at the attack at the Brak Al-Shati air base in southern Libya killing over 140 people and wounding many more.

The Chairperson condemns, in the strongest terms possible, the attack and the tragic loss of life as a complete outrage committed not only against the people of Libya but would also further undermine efforts to bring peace and stability to the country.

On this tragic occasion, the Chairperson offers his condolences to the people of Libya and the families of those slain and wounded in the attack. This is all the more appalling coming when the African Union and the international community at large are making concerted efforts to make sure that all the Libyan parties would work together to promote political dialogue which can reverse the cycle of violence plaguing the country and complete Libya’s transition towards democracy and the rule of law.

The AU will continue to do its utmost in assisting all Libyan stakeholders to bring peace and stability to their country and appeal to all concerned to bring the perpetrators of this horrible crime to justice.

The Chairperson, while condemning this horrible attack, reiterates his unflinching support to the people of Libya and further pledges AU’s commitment to assist in the ongoing political dialogue through the AU High Representative for Libya, Former President Jakaya Kikwete and the AU High Level Committee for Libya, Chaired by His Excellency Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo. It is imperative that the political process be completed at the earliest time possible so as the people of Libya embark on a peace agenda aimed at restoring the country to normalcy and sustainable peace.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.

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Source:: The African Union Condemns the Attack at Brak Al-Shati Air Base in Southern Libya

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Niger: Doctors Without Borders Supports Vaccination Campaign Against Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has deployed several emergency teams to Niger to contain a meningitis outbreak that has killed 179 people since the beginning of the year. Working closely with Niger’s Ministry of Public Health, MSF teams have vaccinated more than 358,800 people in the most affected areas while continuing to monitor at-risk areas and provide medical care to those affected by the disease. So far, the number of meningitis cases recorded across Niger this year has almost doubled compared to 2016 during the same period.

The outbreak is affecting regions throughout the country, though the majority of the 3,037 recorded cases and 179 deaths between January 1 and May 7 occurred in the western part of the country. In response to the outbreak, which was declared by the Ministry of Public Health at the end of March, MSF supported a vaccination campaign targeting the regions of Niamey, Tillabéry, Dosso, and Tahoua.

“As with the meningitis outbreaks of previous years, we have responded to the emergency in areas where the population has been the most affected,” said Félix Kouassi, MSF’s head of mission in Niger. “Our teams have supported the Ministry of Public Health in managing the vaccination campaign in several districts of the town of Niamey and also in the regions of Tillabéry, Dosso, and Tahoua, where more than 75 percent of cases have been recorded.”

Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial disease that causes serious infection of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Niger is part of the “meningitis belt”—a region that stretches across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia—and is regularly affected by this disease. Cases of meningitis C have been on the rise for several years. This year, 65 percent of meningitis cases have been verified cases of meningitis C, the main strain of this epidemic, and 18 percent have been verified as meningitis strain X.

In order to implement the vaccination campaign in the areas affected, 341,000 doses were provided by the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on vaccine provision. The rest of the vaccines were supplied by the Ministry of Public Health.

Since the beginning of the year, MSF has been working with the Ministry of Public Health on rapidly treating meningitis patients and monitoring high-risk areas . MSF supported three hospitals and 24 health centers in the regions of Niamey, Dosso, Tillabéry, and Tahoua by providing them with supplies such as drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, laboratory kits, lumbar puncture needles, syringes, and even mattresses.

MSF is continuing to monitor the areas that are at risk and provide support to manage cases. Emergency teams are also ready if the Ministry of Public Health needs support for a new vaccination campaign.

MSF has been in Niger since 1985 and currently works in the regions of Maradi, Tahoua, Zinder, and Diffa providing pediatric and neonatology care, treatment for malnourished children under 5 years old, immunizations, reproductive health services and support in the fight against malaria. In 2015 and 2016, MSF teams supported the Nigerien Ministry of Health’s response to the meningitis epidemic in the regions of Niamey, Zinder, Tahoua, Tillabéry, and Dosso. During the 2016 epidemic, there were 1,538 cases of meningitis and 114 deaths reported between January and June.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Source:: Niger: Doctors Without Borders Supports Vaccination Campaign Against Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

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