Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Libya: Summary Executions Push UN to Renew Demands on Extraditing LNA Officer

Libya: Summary Executions Push UN to Renew Demands on Extraditing LNA Officer

Friday, 26 January, 2018 - 09:00

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya UNSMIL filed on Thursday to the ICC demanding the "immediate" extradition of officer Mahmoud al-Werfalli loyal to Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, after being charged with staging arbitrary executions without trial.

A video posted on social media showed the officer publicly executing on Thursday 10 potential terrorists in retaliation for a double attack which had killed 40 people in eastern Benghazi.

Werfalli is a special forces commander wanted by the ICC allegedly carrying out a number of similar killings.

In a tweet from its official account, the mission added that “it documented at least 5 similar cases, in 2017 alone, carried out or ordered by Werfalli.”

Footage gone viral showed Werfalli wearing a military uniform and executing about 10 blindfolded men in blue jumpsuits kneeling at the scene of the attack in Benghazi.

UNSIML expressed deep disapproval at reports of brutal executions in Benghazi.

More so, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed his alarm over reports of revenge summary executions.

‘‘The Secretary-General condemns the double bombing in Al-Salmani district of the Libyan city of Benghazi on 24 January and deplores the loss of civilian life, including children. The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wishes the injured swift recovery,’’ an official UN statement said.

The statement then added that ‘‘the Secretary-General is also alarmed by reports of summary executions being carried out in Benghazi in retaliation for the attack.

The Secretary-General reiterates that there can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis. The perpetrators of the attack in Al-Salmani, and of any criminal acts carried out in retaliation, must be brought to justice’’, the statement concluded.

The LNA announced last year that it was investigating Werfalli and has placed him in detention after the ICC said it was seeking his arrest him.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) had issued a warrant for the arrest of Werfalli on 15 August 2017 to answer charges that he had been involved in seven incidents in which 33 bound prisoners were killed. In response, the LNA had responded by saying that the suspect had already been arrested.

Editor Picks