TRIPOLI / GENEVA
The UN on Monday said foreign warplanes supporting renegade eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar are responsible for killing at least of 53 migrants and refugees at a detention center near Tripoli last July.
The conclusion was contained in a 13-page report published by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office based on UN visits to the site, analysis of video footage, and other evidence, as well as subsequent interviews with survivors and witnesses.
The report also said that the airstrikes were likely conducted by aircraft belonging to a foreign state, adding: “It remains unclear whether these air assets were under the command of Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) or were operated under the command of that foreign state in support of the LNA.”
The report did not mention any foreign state in connection with the airstrike, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been accused of involvement in airstrikes. However, the UAE has denied these accusations.
According to the report, the airstrike at the Tajoura detention center, near the capital Tripoli, is one of the deadliest incidents since a new round of hostilities broke out in Libya last April, and deserved further investigation.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: warlord Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.
Since last April, Haftar’s military offensive against Libya’s internationally recognized government has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people./aa