News: “Serious crimes” unfolding in Libya because of ongoing insecurity: ICC

Ongoing political insecurity and the lack of a secure environment in Libya, have led to a “widespread” and serious breakdown in law and order, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Monday.

Fatou Bensouda presented her Office’s latest report on the situation in the North African country to members of the UN Security Council.

Libya has suffered political crises and a serious breakdown in national institutions, since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, began her address to the Security Council by deploring the overall deterioration of the security situation in Libya since her last report in November this year.

In 2011, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1970, referring the situation in the North African country to the ICC to investigate alleged crimes against civilians “that may amount to war crimes”.

The resolution also imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Libyan authorities.

Ms Bensouda warned the Council in her briefing on Monday of reports indicating that Libya is at risk of returning to widespread conflict.

“Such an outcome would not bode well for the rule of law in Libya, and will surely aggravate a climate of impunity, which could, in turn, lead to widespread human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. As is often the case, it is ordinary civilians – innocent men, women and children – who bear the brunt of the suffering caused by this state of insecurity. It is in this context that the International Criminal Court now, more than ever, has an important role to play in Libya. I am convinced that timely and concrete action can make a tangible difference to Libyan lives.”

In April this year, the Court unsealed an arrest warrant for Libya’s former security chief, Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled who is suspected of being responsible for crimes against humanity, including torture and other inhumane acts.

Ms Bensouda also reiterated the Court’s request to the UN-backed Government of National Accord to transfer Mr Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi – son of the former leader Muammar Gaddafi – into its custody and surrender him to the Court, in accordance with its international obligations.

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