ICC Prosecutor Threatens To Expand Probe Of Crimes In Libya Amid Escalating Violence

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ICC Prosecutor Threatens to Expand Probe of Crimes in Libya Amid Escalating Violence

UNITED NATIONS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th April, 2019) International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a statement said her office is reviewing possible crimes committed in Libya in light of the recent escalation of violence and will not hesitate to expand the investigations and prosecutions.

"Following the referral of the situation of Libya by the UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011), and in accordance with my mandate under the Rome Statute, my Office is currently investigating several cases in the Libya situation," Bensouda said on Tuesday. "I will not hesitate to expand my investigations and potential prosecutions to cover any new instances of crimes falling within the Court's jurisdiction, with full respect for the principle of complementarity. No one should doubt my determination in this regard."

Bensouda said she was deeply concerned over the recent escalation in violence in Libya arising from the advance of the Libyan National Army (LNA) towards Tripoli and clashes with forces aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA).

The ICC prosecutor called on all parties involved in the fighting to fully respect international humanitarian law and any individual, including commanders and their troops, who engage in crimes against civilians would be subject to prosecution.

The political situation in Libya has been in a critical state since April 4, when Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the LNA, backed by the parliament ruling Libya's eastern portion, announced an offensive against the capital of Tripoli in a bid to drive what he called terrorist forces out of the city. In response, armed forces loyal to the Tripoli-based GNA started a military operation against the LNA.

According to the World Health Organization, the renewed clashes in the North African country have claimed the lives of 174 people and injured 756.

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