ICC warns warring parties in Libya against committing crimes

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The ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says she will expand investigations and prosecutions to cover any new crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction with regard to the fighting in Libya.

Bensouda was responding to the escalation of violence in Libya following the campaign by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) to take the capital Tripoli.

Bensouda warned commanders who have effective control, authority and command over their forces that they may be held responsible for crimes committed by their subordinates.

“The law is clear: where commanders knew or should have known that crimes are being committed, and they failed and/or neglected to take all necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or repress their commission, they may be held individually criminally accountable,” Bensouda said.

Bensouda urged all parties and armed groups involved in the fighting to fully respect the rules of international humanitarian law and protect civilians and civilian infrastructures.

The ICC is currently investigating several cases in the Libya situation, and continues to actively monitor the developing situation in the country.

The UN-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj vowed to protect Tripoli. Forces loyal to al-Serraj have so far managed to hold off Haftar’s forces.

At least 147 people have been killed and 621 wounded in clashes between the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government’s forces.

The United Nations has called for a temporary humanitarian truce to allow for the provision of emergency services and the voluntary passage of civilians from areas of conflict.