U.N. orders investigation into Libya rights abuses

The U.N. Human Rights Council decided Friday to send a mission to war-torn Libya

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The U.N. Human Rights Council decided Friday to send a mission to war-torn Libya to investigate a range of abuses by different sides and help bring perpetrators to justice.

The 47-member rights body adopted by consensus a resolution asking the U.N. rights chief to “urgently” dispatch a team of investigators to Libya.

The one-year mission would be aimed at investigating violations and abuses committed since the beginning of 2014, and to “establish the facts and circumstances... with a view to... ensuring full accountability,” the text said.

Libya hailed the decision.

“There needs to be investigation of violations of human rights to ensure there is no impunity in this case,” Libyan representative Salwa el-Deghili told the council.

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising.

It has had two parliaments and governments since Tripoli was seized in August 2014 by the Fajr Libya militia coalition and the internationally recognized government fled to the country’s far east.

Adding to the chaos, the Islamic State, which already controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria, has also been receiving pledges of allegiance from extremist groups in Africa and have seized control of Sirte, slain dictator Qaddafi’s home town.

Friday’s resolution, tabled by the groups of African and Arab states, along with a number of European countries, including France and Britain, condemned “in the strongest terms... terrorist acts.”

It decried the “hostage-taking and violence committed against civilians by the so-called Islamic State... and other terrorist organizations,” and harshly criticized their “violence extremist ideology and their continued gross, systematic and widespread abuse of human rights.”

It urged all parties in the conflict to immediately halt all violations and to engage fully commit to U.N.-led peace talks.

The resolution also called on the Libyan government to investigate all abuses and bring those responsible to justice.

The council said U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein to provide an oral update of the mission’s progress at its September session and for the new team of investigators to present a full report at the main annual session next March.

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