Media Statement

03 July 2019

Air strikes on detention centre in Tripoli

South Africa has learnt with deep regret about the tragic loss of life following an airstrike on a migrant centre in Tripoli, Libya, that killed dozens of people, mainly migrants.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, extended the country’s deepest condolences to the Government and people of Libya, as well as to the families and governments of the migrants that so tragically lost their lives.

President Ramaphosa said the prayers and thoughts of the South African people are with the families which lost their loved ones in the attack.

President Ramamphosa also wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured during the attack. The President added that South Africa remains concerned at the dire security and humanitarian situation in Tripoli as a result of the protracted conflict.

South African believes that each of the parties must reduce the tensions and exercise restraint to prevent destruction and loss of life and the continued suffering of both civilians and migrants.

President Ramaphosa condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms and underscored the need for the international community to stand together and urge the warring parties in Libya to immediately cease all military operations, protect civilians and return to dialogue in terms of the United Nations-backed talks.

The President emphasised that it is only through a negotiated settlement that there can be lasting peace in Libya.

African migrants detained in Libya are innocent victims that are trapped in detention centres and, as such, are the responsibility of the Libyan people and must be protected.

President Ramaphosa underscored the fact that the attack took place on the eve of the African Union Summit to take place in Niger and must serve to encourage African Leaders to assist Libyans resolve their challenges.

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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