“Slavery, rape, torture“: Libya is threatened by foreign fighters | DayDayNews UN News

Libya faces serious security threats from foreign militants and private military companies, especially the Russian Wagner Group, which violates international law.

In a U.N. report obtained by The Associated Press, experts also accused seven Libyan armed groups of systematically using illegal detentions to punish perceived opponents and disregarding international and domestic civil rights laws, including the prohibition of torture.

In particular, “migrants are highly vulnerable to human rights violations and are often subjected to slavery, rape and torture,” the group said in its report to the UN Security Council.

The oil-rich North African country was in turmoil after a NATO-backed uprising toppled strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. people who were later killed.

Then it split between rival governments – one in the east, by Military Commander Khalifa Haftar, and the UN-recognized government in the capital of Tripoli. Each side is supported by different militias and foreign powers.

Chadian opposition groups operate in Libya and Sudanese fighters have been recruited by Haftar, the report said.

Turkey-backed Syrian militants The panel saw Syrian fighters affiliated with Haftar from government barracks in Tripoli fighting against Russia’s Wagner group fighters in the strategic northern city of Sirte and nearby Jufra. At least 300 of these Syrians have returned home and have not been replaced by Haftar, the report said.

Panel says it will continue to investigate deployment wagnerian warrior and transfers of arms and related materiel to support its operations.

In April 2019, Haftar and his forces, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, attack Attempt to capture Tripoli. His campaign fell through after Turkey stepped up its military support for the UN-recognized government with hundreds of soldiers and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.

A ceasefire in October 2020 led to an agreement on a transitional government in early February 2021, and elections aimed at reunifying the country were scheduled for December 24 last year.but they are Cancel The country now has two rival governments with Libyans claiming to be prime ministers.

The ceasefire calls for the swift withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries, but the panel said there was “very little verifiable evidence of any large-scale withdrawals to date”.

Wagner Support

The Wagner Group masquerades as a private military contractor, and the Kremlin denies any ties to it.But the U.S. identified Wagner’s backer as Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch with close ties to Russia President Vladimir Putin.

The panel said it believed the Samsung Electronics tablets left on the battlefield in Libya by Wagner mercenaries in early 2021 and acquired by the BBC were genuine. It contains a map of the location of 35 unmarked anti-personnel mines in the Ain Zara area of ​​southern Tripoli, which was then a front-line area under Haftar’s control and supported by Wagner.

The group said that several mines had never been reported in Libya before, and that their transfer, therefore, violated the UN arms embargo. It added that during a mine clearance operation, a booby-trapped mine exploded, killing two civilian deminers.

The experts also received information on the recovery of anti-tank mines from positions in southern Tripoli, mainly occupied by Wagner.

The team said Wagner violated international humanitarian law by failing to clearly mark anti-personnel and anti-tank mines and warn civilians in the area of ​​their location.

The panel said it had identified 18 arms transfer And four examples of military training in violation of the UN arms embargo between March 2021 and late April 2022. Examples it cites include the Lucero, a Comorian-flagged ship that delivered 100 armoured vehicles to Haftar in Benghazi.

“Raped multiple times”

Four migrants have suffered human rights abuses in secret detention facilities controlled by human traffickers in Tazirb in the Libyan desert and in the Bani al-Walid region off the northwest coast, experts say. They said the victims were enslaved, beaten, deliberately starved and deprived of medical care.

“Two former female detainees, girls aged 14 and 15 at the time, further testified to the Panel that multiple perpetrators repeatedly raped them, subjecting them to sexual slavery and other forms of abuse. sexual violence Over 18 months in a secret detention facility in Bani Walid,” the report said.

The team said it also found that the guards responsible for protecting the most vulnerable migrants at the government-run Shara al-Zawiya detention centre were “directly involved in or turned a blind eye to the ongoing threats of rape, sexual exploitation and rape. Women and girls” in January 2021 Detained there until June 2021.

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