Libya: ICC prosecutor warns the suffering of the Libyan people must stop

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda informed the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday that the fighting in Libya continues unabated and warned that the suffering of the Libyan people must stop

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the United Nations Security Council, 8 May 2019 | Photo credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

“To my great regret, the fighting in Libya continues unabated. Over the past six months, violence has escalated and armed clashes have occurred in several areas of Libya, including Derna in the east, Murzuq in the south, and Tripoli in the west. As always, my Office continues to closely monitor the ongoing conflict, gathering information from diverse sources and assessing whether crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court may have been committed,” she said.

She said they are paying close attention to the ongoing armed conflict in and around Tripoli since early April this year and that reports indicate that the fighting has already cost 432 lives, including at least 23 civilians.

More than 50,000 people have reportedly been internally displaced by the hostilities, while others remain trapped in conflict-affected areas. In addition, there are serious concerns for the safety of migrants and refugees who are detained in centres near areas of conflict.

“On the 16th of April, I issued a statement calling on all parties to the armed conflict to fully respect the rules of international humanitarian law. I emphasised that all parties to the armed conflict must take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and detention centres.

“In particular, I urged commanders, whether military or civilian, to ensure that their subordinates do not commit Rome Statute crimes. The law on this is clear. Where a commander knew, or should have known, that their subordinates were committing or about to commit crimes, and failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or repress such crimes, the commander may be held criminally responsible,” she said, adding that the ICC stands ready to investigate and, where appropriate, to prosecute any persons 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.

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Categories: Politics, Security

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