UN says no need for armies to secure Libya aid operations
The United Nations said Friday it did not need armies to secure its relief operations in strife-torn Libya, saying that such a move would only be a last resort.
"The use of military assets is the last resort," said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
"As of now, we are using civilian means," she added, stressing the importance of humanitarian assistance remaining neutral.
With aid now arriving gradually in parts of Libya, the UN has not had to call on armies to protect their convoys, she said.
The UN now has a presence in rebel-stronghold Benghazi, Byrs pointed out.
"I think step by step, it's improving," she said.
The European Union and NATO on Friday strengthened their coordination for a potential EU military mission to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to Libya's shell-shocked city of Misrata.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that the EU was ready to send a mission to support humanitarian efforts, "if requested by the UN."
© 2011 AFP