Fatou Bensouda, a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), urged Libya’s warring parties to implement their recent historic ceasefire agreement, calling it a “welcome concrete development” for a population that has been yearning for peace.
Bensouda made the appeal in a briefing to the UN Security Council, just weeks after the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) signed the deal in Geneva under the auspices of the UN.
“This is indeed a welcome concrete development. We call on the parties to assiduously implement the agreement to usher in the much-awaited peace and stability for the people of Libya,” Bensouda told the virtual meeting.
“Victims of atrocity crimes in Libya must be reassured that notwithstanding any ceasefire or future agreement, individuals alleged to be responsible for serious crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the ICC will be promptly arrested and surrender to the court to face charges for their alleged crimes,” Bensouda added.
For nearly a decade, the ICC has been investigating crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes allegedly committed in Libya.
The country has been in chaos since the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-led coalition forces toppled Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, resulting in the two rival administrations.
The two rival administrations are the GNA based in the capital, Tripoli, and the LNA controlling large areas in the east.
Throughout her briefing, Bensouda emphasised the ICC’s commitment to seeking justice in Libya.
She concluded with a wider vision of the court’s role worldwide.
“We find ourselves in an age where powerful forces increasingly aim to undermine the course of international criminal justice as a continuation of politics by other means,” she said.
“What is required today, more than ever, is greater support for the ICC, its independent and impartial work, and the international rule of law; not less.
“Any act that may undermine the global movement towards greater accountability for atrocity crimes and a rules-based international order must be avoided,” Bensouda said.
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