Militants, reportedly from the Misrata militia, stand on gun-mounted vehicles in Tripoli on April 9, 2019 | Photo: EPA / STRINGER
Militants, reportedly from the Misrata militia, stand on gun-mounted vehicles in Tripoli on April 9, 2019 | Photo: EPA / STRINGER

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has asked the UN in Libya to adopt concrete measures to end impunity in the country, and bring to justice those who have committed serious crimes and crimes against humanity.

According to a report presented to the UN Security Council by Bensouda on November 10, grave human rights conditions continue to affect migrants stuck amid the civil war in Libya.

"Libya remains a high priority situation for my office, and our commitment to seek justice and accountability on behalf of the victims remains unshaken," the prosecutor said. "Our investigations have significantly progressed since my last briefing to this council in May 2020," she added.

The ICC's 20th report on the situation in Libya was filled with serious charges against the Libyan leadership and other parties, highlighting such grievances as the use of mines in districts south of the Libyan capital, Tripoli - many of which were placed there to endanger civilians. From the end of May until the beginning of July this year, 49 people were killed south of Tripoli as a result of these mines, and nearly 93 others were injured.

Discovery of mass graves

The prosecutor further highlighted the discovery of multiple mass graves in the city of Tarhunah and also in the south of Tripoli: "My office is engaging with the national authorities in relation to these mass graves. So far, reports demonstrate that over 100 bodies have been recovered by the authorities involved in exhuming the graves.

"Many of the recovered bodies had been blindfolded, and had their hands tied," the prosecutor went on to say.

She added that her office had received information indicating that the eastern-based militia known as the Libyan National Army (LNA) could be linked to the killings, highlighting the widespread use of arbitrary abduction, detention, torture of civilians, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and the pillaging of civilian property as part of their repeating a pattern of violence.

Positive developments

The prosecutor meanwhile welcomed various efforts carried out by national jurisdictions to bring human traffickers in the country to justice. She highlighted in particular the sentencing of three individuals to 20 years of imprisonment by a court of Messina Italy, for crimes committed against migrants in Zawiyah.

The 41-point document also highlighted the importance of the signature of the ceasefire agreement in Libya last month, calling on the parties to implement the agreement and usher in the much-awaited peace and stability for the people of Libya.

The report also urged all sides to abstain from behavior in violation of international human rights law, highlighting crimes committed by armed groups in western and eastern Libya.


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