The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR: UK Calls for Withdrawal of Foreign Forces from Libya

On Wednesday, the United Kingdom condemned the use of illegal landmines, and called for the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya without delay.

In a statement, the British Embassy in Tripoli stated that “long-term stability will only be achieved in Libya through a refreshed and inclusive political process. In addition to the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries – including the Syrian mercenaries and Wagner group, a private Russian military security contractor.”

Earlier today, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Wagner Group used banned landmines and booby traps near Tripoli.

“New information from Libyan agencies and demining groups links the Wagner Group to the use of banned landmines and booby traps in Libya in 2019-2020,” it said in a report.

Notably, Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abdel-Rahman said that about 7,000 Syrian mercenaries are still present in Libya.

In a press statement, Abdel-Rahman called for the withdrawal of all Syrians, “who have turned into tools in the hands of the Turkish government” and for their immediate return to Syria.

HRW, called on the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan to examine the role of Libyan and foreign armed groups in laying antipersonnel mines during the conflict.

“These mines killed at least three Libyan de-miners before the mines’ locations were identified,” HRW stressed.

“A credible and transparent international inquiry is needed to ensure justice for the many civilians and deminers unlawfully killed and maimed by these weapons,” Lama Fakih, HRW Middle East, and North Africa Director said.

According to the Libyan Mine Action Center (LibMAC), of the 130 people killed and 196 injured in Libya between May 2020 and March 2022 by mines and other explosive ordnance, most were civilians in Tripoli’s southern suburbs.

“Independent of an international inquiry, Libyan courts need to impartially investigate and appropriately prosecute commanders and fighters – including foreigners – for war crimes in Libya,” Fakih added.



Source: Libya Review