This week, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to extend the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for another year. UNSMIL, comprising a small team of international experts, was established last September to support post-conflict reconstruction. The core objectives of the mission include strengthening Libyan institutions, promoting rule of law, supporting transitional justice, and protecting human rights.
Only days prior to the renewal of UNSMIL’s mandate, a UN expert panel turned over a list which identified by name alleged war criminals. Neither the Libyan government nor the International Criminal Court has yet to bring charges against these alleged perpetrators. Even more troubling, the violence seems to be continuing based on reports that opposition forces are still committing abuses.
The UN expert panel recommended that all countries assist Libya’s governing authorities to bring war criminals to justice. Physicians for Human Rights agrees that supporting local Libyan judicial reform is necessary to building a country that is legally accountable to its citizenry. Only when all violators of human rights and international law are brought to justice will Libya secure a lasting peace.
Physicians for Human Rights documented war crimes during the Libyan conflict in two detailed reports on Misrata and Tripoli, and continues to call for justice and accountability in Libya for all perpetrators of mass atrocities.