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UN demands accountability for those responsible for the Tajoura attack in Libya

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United Nations called on Monday to hold accountable those responsible for the air strikes that killed scores of migrants and resulted in hundreds of injuries, in July 2019 in Tajoura (east of the Libyan capital), condemning impunity.

On the second of last July, before midnight, two air strikes targeted a car repair shop, one of the five wards of an immigrant shelter that housed more than 600 migrants in Tajoura.

According to Libya’s illegal immigration agency, 53 migrants were killed and 87 were wounded in the strikes.

This attack is “one of the deadliest incidents” since the strongman in the eastern Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar began his attack in early April to take control of Tripoli, the headquarters of the government of national reconciliation recognized by the United Nations, according to the investigation report prepared by the organization and seen by AFP. Monday.

The results of the international investigators “suggest that the strikes were carried out by the aircraft of a foreign country without being able to establish whether it belonged to the” Libyan Arab Armed Forces “led by Haftar or if it was” operated under the command of that foreign country in support of “Haftar’s forces.

According to the report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said that the attack on Tajura “may amount to a war crime,” adding that “those guilty of these crimes must be held accountable under international law.”

She pointed out that “Libyans, migrants and refugees are stuck in the midst of such violence and atrocities, which in turn contribute to impunity.”

Libya, which has been in chaos since the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011, remains a transit country for migrants, especially from sub-Saharan Africa, to try to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe.

Thousands of migrants are stuck in Libya under bad conditions and their situation has worsened since the start of the fighting on the capital, Tripoli.

The United Nations has repeatedly called for the closure of all migrant detention centers in Libya, where the organization has recorded “severe overcrowding, torture, ill-treatment, forced labor, rape and acute malnutrition among other documented violations of human rights.”

The report indicated that closing these centers “located in or near the conflict compounds controlled by the parties to the conflict” is an “urgent priority”.

In August, the Al-Wefaq government promised to close three detention centers, including the Tajura center, but the latter remains “open to this day,” according to the report.

The United Nations called for “urgent action to be taken to prevent a similar tragedy.”

Despite the ceasefire that came into effect on January 12, at the initiative of Russia and Turkey, Haftar and Al-Wefaq government forces do not stop exchanging accusations.

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