UN Chief “deeply shocked” by mass graves discovered in Libya

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply shocked by the discovery of multiple mass graves in recent days in Libya, the majority of them in Tarhouna.

Tarhouna, located at 65 kilometers southeast of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, was until recently a stronghold of renegade General Khalifa Haftar that his militias used as the operation and supply center.

The mass graves were discovered after Tarhuna was liberated by the army of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) last week, as part of the Burkan Al Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation.

 

The UN Secretary-General calls for a thorough and transparent investigation, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, the UN Chief’s Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said Friday.

The UN Chief calls, in particular, on the authorities to secure the mass graves, identify the victims, establish causes of death and return the bodies to next of kin, the spokesman said, adding that the United Nations has offered support in this regard.

The Secretary-General once again reminds all parties to the conflict in Libya of their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate end to the fighting in Libya in order to save lives and end civilian suffering. He welcomes the resumption of the work of the Libyan Joint Military Commission and hopes that a ceasefire will be agreed soon.

 

Following the ousting of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country slumped into chaos, The GNA was set up in 2015 under UN-led political agreement signed in Skhirat.

The GNA, however, could not establish its control over the whole territory, the east being dominated by another administration backed by warlord Khalifa Haftar.

In April 2019, Haftar’s militia launched an attack to capture Tripoli, but the GNA’s forces resisted the move and made advances with the backing of turkey. Over 1,000 were killed in the violence.

While France, Egypt, Russia, and UAE support Haftar, directly or indirectly, Turkey and Italy have shown solidarity with the GNA.

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