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Rights Report Criticizes Sarraj, Haftar for Relying on Militias

Rights Report Criticizes Sarraj, Haftar for Relying on Militias

Thursday, 9 August, 2018 - 10:15
Clashes south of Benghazi, Libya, November 2016. (AFP / Abdullah Doma)

A rights report has criticized the proliferation of armed radical groups in Libya, including al-Qaeda, saying state institutions have fallen victim to the lawlessness caused by militias.

The latest report issued by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights studies, said that Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord, based in the capital Tripoli, and the Libyan National Army that is led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar “continue to operate through armed and paramilitary groups in the absence of any mechanism for proper integration or an instrument to define the chain of command.”

“The ruptured security sector and lack of accountability for grave violations allows the strife between Libya’s myriad armed groups and paramilitaries to escalate unimpeded.”

The armed groups benefit from vast sums from the state treasury, all the while continuing to operate only nominally under state security institutions, said the report.

According to the Institute, the Libyan judicial system is incapable of undertaking its national responsibilities in the current situation. 

This has led to a failure in bringing to justice wanted criminals, it said.

The judiciary has also fallen victim to armed and paramilitary groups. It said that some international actors have colluded with them, leading to more impunity.

On continued fighting in the country, the report said that ongoing violence has lately caused the death of dozens of civilians.

It referred to army commander Mahmoud al-Werfalli who is wanted on charges of summary executions.

The authorities in eastern Libya are incapable of or are rejecting the arrest of al-Werfalli and others accused of extrajudicial killings, said the report, adding that this phenomenon increases impunity and confirms the judiciary’s inability to bring perpetrators to justice.

The Institute also mentioned in its report the effects of the armed conflict on human rights and civil society activists.

There have been reports of dozens of cases of blackmailing, threats, murder, arbitrary detention, torture, arrests and forced disappearances, it said.

According to the report, journalists, and media workers have also come under attack. It cited several examples.

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