UAE incriminated by human rights groups over war crimes in Libya

UAE incriminated by human rights groups over war crimes in Libya

September 28, 2017 - 23:38
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Human rights groups have accused the United Arab Emirates of committing war crimes in Libya by its support for the commander of the self-styled Libyan national army, Khalifa Haftar.

The accusations came at a human rights conference on Tuesday on the margins of a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

The human rights groups, especially Abdulghani Aljatlaw, head of a group of families of survivors, said UAE conducted direct air strikes on Libyan civilians in August 2014.

To back this allegation up, there were Libyan witnesses who spoke of extrajudicial killings, forced hunger and displacement that they or their family members experienced at Haftar's orders in Derna and Ganfouda in eastern Libya.

Likewise, the Head of Human Rights Solidarity, Jumua Al-Omami, reported that according to a UN commission set up by the Security Council, evidence of human loss resulting from UAE and Egyptian airstrikes on Libya was prevalent.

The UN released a report in June accusing the UAE of supplying helicopters and other military aircraft to Haftar in violation of a UN arms embargo.

Haftar's self-styled army is well known for relying on, besides the UAE, Egypt and other regional and international players for military support on his alleged war on terror that started in May 2014 and has so far destroyed Benghazi, leaving tens of thousands of residents displaced and hundreds killed.

In the meantime, Haftar was in Rome a couple of days ago, where he was told by the Italian Defense Minister and the Italian Interior Minister to follow a political approach to jostle for power, and not a military one.

Military solution is not unfamiliar to Haftar as his so-called army forces were accused earlier this year, during an operation in Benghazi, of war crimes after videos surfaced showing prisoners executed and bodies of dead opponent leaders exhumed, not to mention that one of his forces' prominent commanders, Mahmoud Al-Werfalli, is still at large despite being twice wanted by the International Criminal Court with an arrest warrant for war crimes still applicable.