A fact-finding mission to Libya has been established by the United Nations’ top rights body after prosecutors from the International Criminal Court said that mass graves discovered recently may constitute war crimes.
The UN Human Rights Council on Monday adopted by consensus a resolution strongly condemning all acts of violence in Libya and urging UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to dispatch a fact-finding mission to the North African country.
Libya, a major oil producer, has been mired in turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising.
Since 2015, a power struggle has pitted the UN-recognised government in Tripoli against eastern-based renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, with both sides backed by rival foreign powers.
The UN resolution expressed concern at reports of “torture, sexual and gender-based violence and harsh conditions in prisons and detention centres.”
The fact-finding mission experts will “document alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the beginning of 2016,” the text said.
Tamim Baiou, Libya’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, told the council shortly before the resolution was adopted by consensus that he hoped it would mark “a turning point for a better future for Libya”.