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UN Monitors Refugee Situation Amid Anti-Daesh Campaign in Sirte, Libya

© Flickr / Saifuddin ShahinSirte, Libya
Sirte, Libya - Sputnik International
The UN is constantly monitoring the movement of Libyans who have been fleeing the coastal city of Sirte.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United Nations is constantly monitoring the movements of Libyans who have been fleeing the coastal city of Sirte, a Daesh stronghold, amid the current campaign of the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord to retake the city from the terrorists, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of UN Support Mission in Libya Martin Kobler told Sputnik on Thursday.

Currently, Libya's pro-government forces, supported since Monday by US airstrikes, are battling to retake territories in Sirte from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (Daesh), which has controlled it since June 2015. Heavy fighting has prompted most of the local residents to flee.

"The United Nations and its partners continue to monitor the latest movements of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the west of Libya, as the campaign against Daesh drives more families to flee from Sirte," Kobler said.

He added that since the start of a Libyan offensive in late spring 35,000 more people had left Sirte, bringing the number of internally displaced persons from this city to more than 90,000, "representing more than three quarters of its total population."

Libya has been in a state of civil war since May 2014. The UN helped to bring about a ceasefire in late 2015 and on March 31 the UN-backed unity government took office in Tripoli. However, the government has so far failed to unite the country. The internationally-condemned Daesh fighters maintain a significant presence in the country, including in parts of the eastern city of Benghazi, the eastern city Derna and the western town of Sabratha near the Tunisian border as well as in Sirte, a strategic port on the Mediterranean coast.

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