Libyan Commander Courted by European Countries Accused of War Crimes in Battle for Derna

2/5/2019

Forces loyal to powerful Libyan military commander General Khalifa Haftar are likely to have committed war crimes in the eastern city of Derna, London human rights lawyers have revealed, urging the International Criminal Court to investigate instances of torture, murder, and mutilation of corpses.

This conclusion was reached after studying multiple videos and photos taken in Derna and posted online, which purportedly show General Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) shooting unarmed civilians, stringing up mutilated bodies, and indiscriminately shelling residential areas.

Rights groups have repeatedly accused the LNA, which controls swathes of territory in the east and south of Libya, of committing war crimes in cities like Benghazi. Last July, the ICC issued a second arrest warrant for Gen Haftar’s special forces commander Mahmoud al-Werfalli after several videos appeared online apparently showing him murdering captured fighters.

General Haftar has led the LNA since returning to Libya during the 2011 Arab Spring. Despite mounting evidence of abuse, over the last few years he has been courted by several countries including Italy, France, Russia, and Egypt as a key player and potential leader in Libya.

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Outlet: 
The Independent