UN Human Rights Council orders probe of abuses in Libya since 2016

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet wearing a protective face mask attends at the Human Rights Council on June 17, 2020 in Geneva. (AFP)

The UN Human Rights Council on Monday adopted a resolution ordering a “fact-finding mission” to Libya in order to document violations and abuses committed in the conflict-torn country since 2016.

The United Nations’ top rights body adopted the resolution without a vote, “strongly (condemning) all acts of violence in Libya,” and urging UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to “immediately establish and dispatch a fact-finding mission” to the country.

Tamim Baiou, Libya’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said he hoped the resolution would show that “impunity will no longer be tolerated” in the country.

“We hope this will be a turning point,” he told the council before the text was adopted by consensus.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The draft resolution was tabled in March by a group of African countries, but the UN’s top rights body was forced to suspend its main annual session for three months due to the coronavirus crisis, postponing a vote by the 47-member council until Monday.

Read more:

Libya's GNA rejects emergency summit on Egypt proposal

Libyan National Army: Will never give up Sirte to Turkey ‘no matter the sacrifice’

Libya conflict: Sirte-Jufra ‘red line’ set to be next major flashpoint

The council’s 43rd session resumed last week after Switzerland relaxed the measures imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19, and concluded Monday with the Libya resolution the last adopted during the session.

The resolution expressed “concern” at reports of “torture, sexual and gender-based violence and harsh conditions in prisons and detention centers.”

A general view shows destruction in Sirte's Al-Giza Al-Bahriya district on December 20, 2016 after ISIS fighters were thrown out of the area. (AFP)

A general view shows destruction in Sirte's Al-Giza Al-Bahriya district on December 20, 2016 after ISIS fighters were thrown out of the area. (AFP)

The fact-finding mission experts will be called on, over the next year, to “document alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the beginning of 2016,” the text said.

It called on the experts to present an oral update on their progress to the council in September, followed by a written report next March.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, extremists and mercenaries since the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed uprising.

Since 2015, a power struggle has pitted the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord against Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who claims legitimacy from an eastern-based elected parliament.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Monday, 22 June 2020 KSA 20:29 - GMT 17:29
Top