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UN Mission in Libya brokers 12-hour truce in Libya city of Benghazi
November 20,2014   By:Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 20, 2014 -- The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Wednesday announced that the different parties to the conflict in Benghazi have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian truce in the affected areas, according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

"The truce, which was facilitated by UNSMIL, commenced at 7 a.m. local time today and was to last for 12 hours," Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here. "UNSMIL has urged all parties to fully abide by their commitments during the truce."

"As agreed with all parties, the Libyan Red Crescent will evacuate civilians from affected areas, remove dead bodies and facilitate the removal of sewage," he said. "Civilians can also attend to the injured as well as restock food and other necessary supplies."

Since the 2011 overthrow of former leader Muammar Qadhafi, violence amongst armed groups has spread throughout the North African country, causing a humanitarian crisis.

According to numbers provided by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), at least 106,420 people had fled their homes in October alone. Since May, a total of 393,400 people have been displaced.

Earlier in the summer there seemed to be steps in the right direction with the election on June 25 of a national Parliament, a move the UN Mission hoped would thrust Libya toward political resolution. However, earlier this month, Libya's Supreme Court declared the national Parliament unconstitutional.

On Nov. 11, Fatou Bensouda, a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), warned the UN Security Council about growing political instability in Libya. She said that the country is currently split with two governments vying for legitimacy.

Bensouda said a particularly worrisome aspect of the " deleterious" situation is the ongoing spate of assassinations in Benghazi, threats to media workers, human rights defenders and women in particular, as well as to prosecutors, judges and lawyers.