From the field - In Libya, responding to needs despite attacks

In Libya, responding to needs despite attacks - Protesters from Bani Wali in Tripoli, October 7, 2012 - Photo courtesy of Reuters

In Libya, responding to needs despite attacks - Protesters from Bani Wali in Tripoli, October 7, 2012 - Photo courtesy of Reuters

An offensive by forces affiliated with the Libyan Defence Ministry is underway in Bani Walid, a troubled city in the country's northwest.

A Tripoli-based ICRC heath team was in the city last week and delivered medical supplies to its main hospital. Delegates also spoke to Bani Walid community leaders to better assess needs and ensure future access. Since that visit, fighting has moved to the city itself, with more casualties reported.

ICRC Libya spokesperson Soaade Messoudi explains the reasons behind this latest outburst of violence and our ongoing humanitarian response. 

Our offices in Benghazi and Misrata were directly attacked over the summer, leading to the departure of all expatriate staff in these cities and the suspension of all ICRC activities in eastern and central Libya.

Our colleagues have since increased their outreach to political and tribal leaders in these cities and regions in an effort to understand why the ICRC was attacked and to ensure that the neutral and independent nature of the organization is better understood by all parties.

Ms. Messoudi explains these efforts and speaks about our delegation's strong commitment to protect and assist those who need the ICRC in Bani Walid, Benghazi, Misrata and elsewhere.