The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has expressed concern about the escalation of violence in Libya, saying her office is investigating new personal lawsuits in Libya.
"I will not hesitate to expand my investigations and potential prosecutions to cover any new instances of crimes falling within the Court’s jurisdiction, with full respect for the principle of complementarity. No one should doubt my determination in this regard.” Bensouda said in a statement on Tuesday.
She called on all parties and armed groups involved in the fighting to fully respect the rules of international humanitarian law, including taking all necessary measures to protect civilians, and civilian infrastructures, including schools, hospitals and detention centres.
"I urge all parties to the conflict not to commit any crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction, and in particular, for commanders to ensure that their subordinates do not do so.” She remarked.
Bensouda reminded all parties that any person who incites or engages in such crimes including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing in any other manner to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court is liable to prosecution.
She reminded as well all commanders, military or civilian, who have effective control, authority and command over their forces that they themselves may be held criminally responsible for crimes committed by their subordinates.
"The law is clear: where commanders knew or should have known that crimes are being committed, and they failed and/or neglected to take all necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or repress their commission, they may be held individually criminally accountable.” She explained.
The Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj said earlier that his government is preparing a file for the violations committed by the forces under Khalifa Haftar's command, including targeting schools and public institutions, besides recruiting children for fighting in Tripoli.