UNICEF’s Chief of Communication James Elder reports from Benghazi, Libya.
Before intense fighting engulfed Misrata 50 days ago, five-year-old
Dava* would play dress-ups and make beaded necklaces. In this she was
probably typical of most five-year-olds living in the western Libyan
city. But who would know? For the first two months of this conflict,
Libya appeared as this peculiar place devoid of children. There are many
inexplicable things we see and hear in Libya, but the strangest has
been the initial, almost complete absence of children from images and
reports out of the conflict-ridden country. We didn’t see children, we
didn’t hear from them, and much as we probed and queried we simply
didn’t know nearly enough what was really happening to them.