UN demands handover of Libya commander after new killings

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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The United Nations demanded on Thursday the immediate surrender of a Benghazi commander wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges after evidence emerged suggesting he had carried out new summary executions in Libya.

Mahmoud al-Werfalli commands the Al-Saiqa Brigade based in Libya’s second city and is loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar whose forces dominate the east of the North African country.

When the ICC issued a warrant for Werfalli’s arrest last August over summary executions in which at least 33 people were killed in 2016 and 2017, Haftar’s forces insisted he was in their custody and would face a military trial.

But video and photographs posted on social networks on Wednesday appeared to show him personally putting bullets to the heads of 10 prisoners at the site of deadly twin bombings in Benghazi the previous day.

Witnesses said that Werfalli had carried out the public executions of the suspected jihadists in revenge for the Tuesday attack, which killed at least 37 people outside a mosque in the heart of the city.

In the video, a uniformed officer, said to be Werfalli, is seen making the blindfolded suspects in blue prison uniform kneel in front of him before shooting them one after the other.

Their bodies are then thrown on the back of a pickup truck to applause from the crowd.

In a statement, the UN Support Mission in Libya said it was “alarmed by reports of brutal and outrageous summary executions in Benghazi”.

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