‘Slavery, rape, torture’: Libya threatened by overseas fighters

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Libya faces a severe safety risk from overseas fighters and personal navy corporations, particularly Russia’s Wagner Group which has violated worldwide legislation.

In a United Nations report obtained by The Associated Press information company, specialists additionally accused seven Libyan armed teams of systematically utilizing illegal detention to punish perceived opponents, ignoring worldwide and home civil rights legal guidelines together with ones prohibiting torture.

In explicit, “migrants have been extremely vulnerable to human rights abuses and regularly subjected to acts of slavery, rape and torture”, the panel stated within the report back to the UN Security Council.

The oil-rich North African nation plunged into turmoil after a NATO-backed rebellion in 2011 toppled strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who was later killed.

It then obtained divided between rival governments – one within the east, backed by navy commander Khalifa Haftar, and a UN-recognised administration within the capital of Tripoli. Each aspect is supported by totally different militias and overseas powers.

The report stated Chadian opposition teams function from Libya and Sudanese fighters have been recruited by Haftar.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters have been seen by the panel in authorities navy camps in Tripoli whereas Haftar-affiliated Syrian fighters function alongside Russia’s Wagner Group fighters within the strategic northern metropolis of Sirte and close by Jufra. At least 300 of those Syrians have returned home and haven’t been changed by Haftar, the report stated.

The panel stated it continues to analyze the deployment of Wagner fighters and the transfers of arms and associated materiel to assist its operations.

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In April 2019, Haftar and his forces, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive to try to seize Tripoli. His marketing campaign collapsed after Turkey stepped up its navy assist for the UN-recognised authorities with a whole bunch of troops and hundreds of Syrian mercenaries.

An October 2020 ceasefire deal led to an settlement on a transitional authorities in early February 2021 and elections have been scheduled for final December 24 aimed toward unifying the nation. But they have been cancelled and the nation now has rival governments with two Libyans claiming to be the prime minister.

The ceasefire settlement referred to as for the speedy withdrawal of all overseas fighters and mercenaries however the panel stated “there has been little verifiable evidence of any large-scale withdrawals taking place to date”.

Supported by Wagner

The Wagner Group passes itself off as a non-public navy contractor and the Kremlin denies any connection to it. But the United States identifies Wagner’s financer as Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch who’s near Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The panel stated it considers a Samsung digital pill left on a Libyan battlefield by a Wagner mercenary and obtained by the BBC in early 2021 to be genuine. It contained maps of the areas of 35 unmarked anti-personnel mines within the Ain Zara space of south Tripoli, which was then a front-line space below Haftar’s management, supported by Wagner.

Several mines had by no means been reported as being in Libya earlier than and their switch, due to this fact, violated the UN arms embargo, the panel stated. It added a booby-trapped mine exploded throughout a mine clearance operation killing two civilian mine clearers.

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Experts additionally obtained details about the restoration of anti-tank mines from positions primarily occupied by Wagner in south Tripoli.

The panel stated the failure to visibly mark the anti-personnel and anti-tank mines and situation warnings of their areas to civilians within the areas was a violation of the worldwide humanitarian legislation by Wagner.

The panel stated it recognized 18 arms transfers and 4 examples of navy coaching between March 2021 and late April 2022 that violated the UN arms embargo. Among the examples it cited was the Luccello, a ship flying the Comoros flag that delivered 100 armoured automobiles to Haftar in Benghazi.

‘Repeatedly raped’

The specialists stated 4 migrants suffered human rights abuses in secret detention services managed by human traffickers within the areas of Tazirbu within the Libyan desert and Bani Walid near the northwest coast. They stated victims have been enslaved, severely crushed, intentionally starved and denied medical care.

“Two former female detainees, who were 14 and 15-year-old girls at the time, further testified to the panel that multiple perpetrators repeatedly raped them, subjected them to sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence during the period of over 18 months in a secret detention facility in Bani Walid,” the report stated.

The panel stated it additionally discovered that guards accountable for defending essentially the most weak migrants within the government-run Shara al-Zawiya detention centre “took a direct part in or turned a blind eye to consistent acts of rape, sexual exploitation and threats of rape against women and girls” detained there between January and June 2021.

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