UNICEF voices concern over armed conflict effect on education in Libya’s capital

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday expressed concern over the impact of the armed conflict in Libya’s Tripoli on education.

“Shelling of a second school in Tajoura neighbourhood of Tripoli occurred in less than 48 hours, depriving some 1,300 girls and boys from restarting their education after the summer break in early September 2019,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“The UNICEF is concerned that the nature of the conflict has changed, putting children and their families on the frontline of battle. On July 29, a grenade hit Ben Lasher school in Tripoli, leaving 10 classrooms, three laboratories and eight administrative offices heavily damaged,” the statement said.

UNICEF called on Libyan rival parties to put an end to the conflict and keep children away from harm’s way.

The eastern-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, has been leading a military campaign since early April to take over Tripoli from the UN-backed government.

The fighting so far has killed more than a thousand people, injured more than 5,700 others, and forced more than 120,000 people to flee their homes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The army is allied with the eastern-based government, as the north African nation is politically divided between eastern and western governments.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.