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Libya: ICC concludes third visit to investigate Haftar's crimes

International Criminal Court building in The Hague on 30 July, 2016 in the Hague, Netherlands [Michel Porro/Getty Images]
International Criminal Court building in The Hague on 30 July, 2016 in the Hague, Netherlands [Michel Porro/Getty Images]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has concluded its third visit to Libya on Wednesday to investigate the crimes committed in the country by the militia of General Khalifa Haftar.

According to a statement issued by the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "The team of the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has completed its third visit to Libya, as part of documenting crimes committed against civilians."

The statement indicated that the Libyan authorities welcome cooperation with the ICC to ensure no impunity.

The statement added that on its third visit, the ICC team met with Minister of Defence Salah Al-Namroush, investigators at the office of the attorney general, the military prosecutor and forensic experts.

The ICC delegation also met with representatives of the Public Authority for Search and Identification of Missing Persons and the Libyan Criminal Investigation Service, especially regarding crimes related to the recently discovered mass graves.

The statement explained that the three visits focused on inspecting mass graves in the town of Tarhuna (south of Tripoli) and documenting the testimonies of the families of victims and displaced persons from the eastern region.

Last July and September, the ICC dispatched a team to examine war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Libya.

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Last June, Head of the Libyan Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj called on the ICC to urgently send a team to investigate the crimes of Haftar's militia.

In a letter to the ICC, Al-Sarraj pledged to take all measures and provide the necessary assistance to the investigation team.

The search for graves has been ongoing since last June, resulting in the discovery of bodies of men and women revealing the heinous crimes perpetrated by Haftar's militia in Libya.

In addition to mass murder, Haftar's militia and its loyal forces committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and planted mines from April 2019 to June 2020, particularly in the city of Tarhuna.

Haftar's militia, with the support of Arab and European countries, launched an aggression against Tripoli on 4 April, 2019, causing civilian fatalities and injuries, as well as large-scale destruction.

Currently, there are widespread calls for a return to the dialogue table with the aim of reaching a political solution to the deepening crisis that has been continuous for years.

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