The 133 families include 18 families from different nationalities. The Ganfouda families have publicly stated that they have no political or military affiliations. The men, youth, women, and children are strictly civilians.
Like many people in Benghazi, due to their unwillingness to recognize and support Haftar’s forces, they have been targeted as opposition.
Currently, the suburb is being protected by armed groups belonging to the Benghazi Shura Council to prevent Haftar’s militias by entering by land. As a result, Haftar’s forces have attacked the area by air and sea. However, Benghazi’s borders are controlled by Haftar’s forces blockading any families from escaping safely whether by land or sea.
In September 2016 a mother in Ganfouda spoke out publicly about the human rights crisis. In a TV broadcast interview she stated the following on behalf of all families in Ganfouda:
“This appeal is an appeal for relief to the United Nation, it’s Security Council, the humanitarian and human rights organizations, and the International Court of Justice.
We are the remaining families who are still in the destroyed area of Ganfouda. We are 131 families. We have been suffering from hunger, thirst and sickness for 2 years. Our children are suffering from the worst kind of physical and mental problems.
We have been forced to be in the crossfire and witness our houses bomb shelled. Every day there are air strikes. We don’t know who they are. We are families who are stuck here because of circumstances and fate.
“We don’t affiliate or support any party of the armed struggle. We are civilians and people of Benghazi know who we are. We are against terrorism in all its kinds and forms, and against the terrorism taking place and against the killing.
We hold the UN Special Mission to Libya and Special Representative Mr. Martin Kobler, Mr. Al Zaatari, The Government of National Accord, the High Council of State, NATO, the Security Council and humanitarian organization, the Human Rights Organizations, and anyone who has compassion in this world.
We hold them responsible of our safety and the lives of our children and women.
We urge you to consider our appeal and act fast.
We ask to be evacuated from this area to any safe place in Libya immediately where our families and children will be safe and evade death.”