Humanitarian operations in Libya to end in November: UN

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The United Nations is expected to end its emergency humanitarian operations in Libya at the end of November, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya Panos Moumtzis said on Monday.

Humanitarian operations are "for the time being expected for the next eight weeks until the end of November," he told reporters.

"We hope the country will be in a new phase" by then, Moumtzis said, explaining that at that point Libya would be in need of "technical" assistance, to develop the country and bring about electoral and judicial reforms.

He added that the country's new authority, the Transitional National Council, had indicated it wanted to take responsibility for humanitarian issues by the end of November.

"The TNC thinks they can handle the purchase of food and medicines by the end of November," he said.

Moumtzis added there was a sense of "optimism" in Tripoli, but there were still "large preoccupations" in Bani Walid, 170 km southeast of the capital, and in Sirte, among the last bastions of former leader Moamer Kadhafi.

Some 24,000 people have escaped the fighting in Bani Walid, according to UN figures, and around 2,000 have fled Sirte.

© 2011 AFP

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