U.N. relief agency wants pause in Libya

May 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 (UPI) -- Conflict in the Libyan city of Misurata needs to stop so humanitarian supplies and investigators can reach the country, a U.N. relief official said.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 sanctioned military intervention in Libya to protect civilians from attacks from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Valerie Amos, emergency relief coordinator with the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told the Security Council that all parties to the conflict in Libya must respect the lives of civilians and the international human rights regime.

"The reported use of cluster bombs, sea and land mines, as well as deaths and injuries caused by aerial bombing, show a callous disregard for the physical and psychological well being of civilians," she said in her remarks.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN the military alliance was "making progress" and had "taken out" a substantial part of Gadhafi's military capability. There was no military solution to the conflict, he said, but "it's hard to imagine an end to the violence as long as Gadhafi remains in power."

Amos, however, said it was time for a pause in the conflict so humanitarian aid could reach those in need and so human rights investigators could get into the country.

"An independent assessment of the humanitarian situation could be conducted and a pause would also enable delivery of essential medical supplies and other relief items, and the evacuation of third country nationals, the wounded and others who require emergency medical assistance," she said.

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