The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Ali Al-Za’tari, welcomes the release of two Libyan humanitarian workers affiliated with aid agencies and expresses gratitude to all those who assisted in securing their freedom after five months in captivity.
Mohamed al-Monsef Ali al-Sha’lali and Walid Ramadan Salhub were delivering humanitarian assistance to areas in southwestern Libya when they were abducted on 5 June 2015 in al-Shwayrif in the country’s south.
The two men who work for the Shaik Tahir Azzawy Charity Organization, an implementing partner for a number of international humanitarian agencies, were released on 07 November.
“As much as we are delighted by the safe return of the two workers to their families, we wish to emphasise the need for the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance across the country,” Mr. Al-Za’tari said.
“The delivery of crucial aid to those in need is a noble cause that should be shielded and made immune from all disputes,” he said, recalling that hostage-taking and intentionally directing attacks against civilian personnel involved in humanitarian assistance are war crimes.
The Humanitarian Coordinator expressed thanks to all the personalities who were involved in the efforts to secure the release of the two men, including the elders and officials of al-Zawiya, al-Shwayrif and Sabha as well as the elders of the al-Magarha tribe.
He urged other communities with similar cases to follow suit and engage in efforts to secure the release of all those illegally detained.