Statement by Mark Toner, Acting Deputy Spokesman
May 4, 2011
Misrata, Libya: Appeal for Civilian Protection
The United States condemns the Qadhafi regime’s continued brutal attacks on the Libyan people in violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for a stop to all attacks on civilians and an immediate ceasefire. In particular, we urge the Qadhafi regime to cease hostilities in Misrata port and to allow the International Organization for Migration and other organizations to provide much needed relief and evacuation services to civilians caught up in the Libyan conflict. This includes taking all measures to facilitate international efforts to evacuate third-country nationals and wounded Libyans from the port city of Misrata.
The International Organization for Migration reports that migrants from Africa and Asia remain stranded in Misrata, including women and children. In addition, many badly wounded civilians, currently in Misrata’s overwhelmed hospitals, are in need of urgent medical evacuation. The International Organization for Migration’s efforts to deliver relief supplies and to evacuate additional migrants and wounded have been delayed by shelling as well as the threat of anti-shipping mines laid in the port.
The United States is making available an additional $6.5 million for International Organization for Migration operations in response to the crisis in Libya, including the evacuation from Misrata. This brings to $53.5 million the total the U.S. Government is providing for emergency assistance and to meet the humanitarian needs of conflict victims, vulnerable migrants, and others displaced by the civil unrest in Libya.