Libya: Fears of a military escalation amid utter disregard for civilians and migrants’ lives 


Geneva – Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) expressed its deep concern over the developments in Libya and the growing fears of a military escalation in light of the threat of more foreign interference and warned of the dangers of disregarding the lives of civilians and migrants in the country.
Geneva Council has warned, in a press statement, of the huge risk of proxy wars escalation between regional parties in Libya that have been suffering from conflicts for years where civilians pay the highest price.
Concerns are also raised over the gross violations of human rights and the norms of international humanitarian law that would occur due to any further escalations, in particular, external military interventions, given the already exhausted society by internal armed conflicts that led the wounding and killing of thousands of people and the displacement of others.
Since the overthrow of former Libyan President Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011, Libya has been under a bloody power struggle between tribal and armed groups with different agendas, which led to conflict since April 2019 to control the country.
Given the gloomy context, the country became a battleground for regional and international conflict where civilians are trapped in the chaos of power struggles and have paid the steepest price.
Geneva Council warned that the continuing crimes of murder, bombing, destruction of property and infrastructure, enforced disappearance, collective punishment, and forced displacement are likely to increase significantly which urges the international community to act quickly to protect civilians from the brutal war.
GCRL also called on Human Rights Council to send the fact-finding mission that was established in June 2020 to investigate violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law committed by all parties of the conflict in Libya. It also stressed that it is time to stop the external interventions that fueled the conflict in Libya, to put an end to the spread of impunity which contributed to more horrible crimes, and to protect civilians from ongoing conflicts.
Geneva Council also condemned the murder of three Sudanese migrants who tried to escape after they were intercepted by the coastguard in the Mediterranean Sea and returned to Libya territory. The three were among the 73 Europe-bound migrants, mostly from Sudan, local authorities started shooting when the migrants attempted to escape from the disembarkation point. Three migrants died and two others were wounded.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died at sea while trying to reach Europe from Africa. UN figures show that at least 36,000 people have been intercepted by the Libyan coastguard.
Libya acts as a significant gateway for African migrants hoping to reach Europe. A 2018 UN report highlighted that migrants are subjected to “unimaginable horrors” from the time they enter Libya, during their stay and in their attempts to cross the Mediterranean if they make it that far.
The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties stressed that the use of excessive violence results yet again in the senseless loss of life, amid a lack of action to change a system that often fails to provide any degree of protection.
The Libyan Government must abide by a clear plan to fully respect the rights and safety of migrants, including preventing targeted killing under any pretext and ending arbitrary detentions and inhuman and degrading treatment against them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top