Pope Francis appealed “with great apprehension and sorrow” for an end to “cruelty” that has affected thousands of people in Libya in recent weeks.
The pontiff called on the international community “to recommence with conviction and resolve the search for a path towards an end to the violence, leading to peace, stability, and unity.”
Pope Francis said the global health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic has aggravated the already precarious conditions of thousands of refugees in the country.
“I call on the international community to please take their plight to heart, identifying pathways and providing means to provide them with the protection they need, a dignified condition, and a hopeful future,” the pontiff said.
Last week, at least eight mass graves were found in Tahuna in Libya, south of the capital Tripoli. More than 150 bodies, including women and children, were exhumed from the graves.
According to the United Nations, the town where the mass graves were found was used as the operation and supply center of militias loyal to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar.
General Hifter led the Libyan National Army on its offensive against the UN-supported Government of National Accord of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “deep shock” at the discovery of the mass graves and called for a “thorough and transparent investigation” into possible war crimes.
He called on Libyan authorities to “secure the mass graves, identify the victims, establish causes of death, and return the bodies to next of kin.”
Guterres reminded all parties to the conflict in Libya of their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.