World ICC warns foreign fighters in Libya they could face prosecution

00:40  18 may  2021
00:40  18 may  2021 Source:   afp.com

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Warring parties in Libya could be prosecuted if evidence is found that they committed atrocities, the head of the International Criminal Court warned on Wednesday. “My office stands ready to investigate and, where appropriate, to prosecute any persons or party to the ongoing armed conflict should they engage in conduct constituting a crime within the jurisdiction of the ICC . “The suffering of the Libyan people must stop. The rules of international humanitarian law must be fully respected.

WASHINGTON. The International Criminal Court ’s chief prosecutor warned Tuesday of potential war crimes in Libya as renegade general Khalifa Haftar continues his push on Tripoli despite pleas that he cease the offensive. The UN-recognized Libyan government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital, Tripoli. The Libyan army has recently made gains against Haftar's militias, which are supported by France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The International Criminal Court on Monday warned mercenaries and foreign troops in war-torn Libya that they could face prosecution, demanding an end to the use of detention centers to commit a variety of serious crimes.

a group of people in front of a flag: Protesters hold a banner reading © John MACDOUGALL Protesters hold a banner reading "Stop war in Libya, Haftar and mercenaries" during a protest in front of the Reichstag building during the Peace summit on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin on January 19, 2020

"The office has received concerning information about the activities of mercenaries and foreign fighters in Libya," said chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda during a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council on Libya.

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Hundreds of civilians in Libya have been killed in fighting since late August, the United Nations says, warning commanders of armed groups that they could face prosecution for possible war crimes. The north African country is struggling with fighting on several fronts as brigades of former rebels who Since mid-October the Libyan army and forces loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar have been waging a war to retake the eastern coastal city, held by Islamist groups. Adding to the chaos, Libya has had two parallel governments since August when a group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli, forcing the

All sides in Libya have committed war crimes and other human rights abuses in the past two years and those responsible should face investigation and. The U.N. had recorded names of those allegedly responsible and there was “a process for engagement with appropriate bodies” such as the ICC , which has jurisdiction but not brought any prosecutions , said Gurdip Sangha, Libya desk officer at the U.N. human rights office. He declined to say how many such names there were, saying there were varying degrees of evidence and corroboration in different cases.

"Crimes committed by mercenaries and foreign fighters on Libyan territory may fall under the jurisdiction of the court, no matter the nationality of the persons involved," she said.

According to the United Nations, more than 20,000 mercenaries and foreign troops are still deployed in Libya. That number includes Turkish soldiers as well as mercenaries from Russia, Sudan and Chad.

Bensouda said the court was receiving information about crimes against detainees ranging from disappearances and arbitrary detention to murder, torture and sexual and gender-based violence.

"We have collected credible information and evidence on serious crimes, allegedly committed in official and unofficial detention facilities in Libya," the Gambian prosecutor said.

The UN estimated that 8,850 people have been detained without due process in 28 official Libyan prisons while another 10,000 people, including women and children, are being held in other facilities controlled by armed factions.

"I urge all parties to the conflict in Libya to immediately put an end to the use of detention facilities to mistreat and commit crimes against civilians," said the prosecutor, who in mid-June will leave her position and be replaced by British lawyer Karim Khan.


Libya: Uncertainty on the upcoming elections of December 2021 .
© Mahmud Turkia, AFP Parliament has still not voted the budget of Prime Minister Libyan Abdel Hamid Dbeibah (photo), considered the highest in the history of country. In Libya, disagreements are multiplying as the fateful date of the general elections planned on 24 December. The political agreement obtained last fall by the National Forum, gathered under the aegis of the United Nations aims to organize elections to move forward in the peace and stabilization process.

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