Libyan ICC wanted commander ‘hands himself in’ to military forces

It was not made clear on whether the apparent move would lead to any severe action being taken against the commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, or his movement being restricted. Image courtesy: Al Jazeera
It was not made clear on whether the apparent move would lead to any severe action being taken against the commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, or his movement being restricted. Image courtesy: Al Jazeera

By Diana Rose Wairumbi

A Libyan commander has brought himself forward to the military police after being sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the alleged summary execution of dozens of people in eastern Libya, a military source stated on Wednesday.

It was not made clear on whether the apparent move would lead to any severe action being taken against the commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, or his movement being restricted.

Werfalli is a general in the elite unit, Special Forces attached to Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) that dominates Benghazi, Libya’s northeastern city.

In August last year, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Werfalli.

The same month, the LNA said it was investigating Werfalli and had detained him, but the ICC issued an arrest warrant saying it had received several reports that Werfalli was at large and involved in war crimes in eastern Libya, demanding his extradition over suspicion.

In late January, the United Nations reiterated its call for “the handing over of Mahmoud al-Werfalli immediately to the ICC in The Hague” after images surfaced appearing to show him firing dead 10 people in front of a mosque in Benghazi which was hit by a twin car bombing just the previous day.

The international community stated it had documented “at least five similar cases, in 2017 alone, carried out, or ordered by, Werfalli”.

On Tuesday a video was posted on social media showing a man that resembled Werfalli in military uniform sitting on a sofa at an undisclosed location, saying  he would give himself over to military police in the eastern town of Marj at LNA headquarters.

Last year Werfalli’s unit said that it rejected the ICC warrant.