Ganfouda Residents Don’t Trust Haftar’s Promise of Safe Passage

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

The residents of Ganfouda will be given passage out of the suburb, announced General Ahmed Al-Mismari, spokesperson for the General Khalifa Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) on Friday.

Al-Mismari said that civilians will be given safe passage out of Ganfouda during a ceasefire that will take place on “Saturday from 10am until 4pm”.

“Media is welcome to be there to monitor, as well as NGOs and tribal leaders,” said a post on the LNA’s Twitter account.  

The LNA however has yet to disclose where the civilians of Ganfouda will be taken to once they leave.

Free Ganfouda, an account on Twitter which claims to represent the voices of the people of Ganfouda, said that residents of the eastern city will not leave Ganfouda unless the Libyan Red Crescent verifies that the ceasefire is legitimate and the passage out of Ganfouda is secured.

On Tuesday, the Free Ganfouda website released a press briefing about a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid that was expected to set sail for Ganfouda but was delayed after Haftar vowed to destroy any ship sent to Ganfouda “even if (it’s) Canadian”.

“Time is running out for civilians in Ganfouda, who are being left to die trapped by the fighting. While bombs and shells continue to rain down on them, civilians are struggling to survive on rotten food and dirty water. And the sick and wounded must make do with dwindling supplies of expired medicines,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Mughrabi is urging “all parties (to) take feasible precautions to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the fighting in Ganfouda and other parts of Libya in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

“Indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks are prohibited by international law and every effort must be made to distinguish between military targets and civilians or civilian homes and buildings,” she added.

The military blockade of Ganfouda, which began in July 2014, has put the safety of many families at great risk.

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