Tripoli, March 14: The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon . . .[restrict]has called on the Libyan government to address human rights violations in the country. His call, on Tuesday, follows the publication last week of a UN report that said that both sides committed war crimes during last year’s revolution. It also claimed that killing, torture and other crimes are continuing in Libya.
The report was criticised by Russian UN diplomats last week. Maria Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva, a diplomat at the Russian UN mission in Geneva, said that it should have probed the deaths caused by NATO air strikes last year, which she said included children and Libyan journalists.
On Tuesday, however, Ban noted that Commission of Enquiry which produced the report had found that NATO “did not deliberately target civilians” in Libya airstrikes.
“The Secretary-General has made clear his view that the actions taken by the international community were consistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions,” his office said.
The office added that Ban was “aware of the positions members of the Security Council have expressed on this issue.”
In a Security Council meeting last Wednesday to discuss the role of NATO air strikes during last year’s uprising, Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin had attacked them saying, “we expect NATO to acknowledge that its air raids caused civilian casualties, to apologize and say that it is prepared to pay the appropriate compensation”.
The 200-page report said that Qaddafi’s troops had committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.
It also said that revolutionary forces also committed “serious violations including war crimes and breaches of international human rights law” such as unlawful killing, arbitrary arrest and torture”. It reported that they “perpetrated torture and ill-treatment, and continued to do so even during the commission’s visit”.
The head of the commission of inquiry, Philippe Kirsch, has said that as a result of its investigations, it is giving the UN a list of people who should be charged with human rights crimes. The commission “has gathered information linking individuals to human rights violations or crimes,” Kirsch has said.
On Monday, the UN Security Council, unanimously voted to extend the mandate for its UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) by a year. Its extension is subject to review within six months, however.