Libya's Security Threatened By Foreign Fighters| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 05 July 2022 12:12 GMT

Libya's Security Threatened By Foreign Fighters


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AP

Libya faces a serious security threat from foreign fighters and private military companies, especially Russia's Wagner Group which has violated international law, U.N. experts said in a report obtained by The Associated Press.

The experts also accused seven Libyan armed groups of systematically using unlawful detention to punish perceived opponents, ignoring international and domestic civil rights laws, including laws prohibiting torture.

In particular, 'migrants have been extremely vulnerable to human rights abuses and regularly subjected to acts of slavery, rape and torture,” the panel said in the report to the U.N. Security Council obtained late Friday by the AP.

The oil-rich North African nation plunged into turmoil after a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. It then became divided between rival governments - one in the east, backed by military commander Khalifa Hifter, and a U.N.-supported administration in the capital of Tripoli. Each side is supported by different militias and foreign powers.

In April 2019, Hifter and his forces, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive to try and capture Tripoli. His campaign collapsed after Turkey stepped up its military support for the U.N.-supported government with hundreds of troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.

An October 2020 cease-fire deal led to an agreement on a transitional government in early February 2021 and elections were scheduled for last Dec. 24 aimed at unifying the country. But they were canceled and the country now has rival governments with two Libyans claiming to be prime minister.

The cease-fire agreement called for the speedy withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries but the panel said 'there has been little verifiable evidence of any large-scale withdrawals taking place to date.”

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