UN Panel: Libyan Forces, Opposition Committed War Crimes

By Dialogo
June 06, 2011

A U.N. panel investigating the conflict in Libya says forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and opposition forces in the country have committed war crimes.

The report, published by three U.N.-appointed experts, says the violations committed by pro-Gadhafi forces were severe enough to also constitute crimes against humanity. They said violations by opposition armed forces, however, were not severe or widespread enough to be considered crimes against humanity.

Last month, the chief prosecutor the International Criminal Court requested arrest warrants for Libyan leader Gadhafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and Intelligence Chief Abdullah al-Senoussi for alleged crimes against humanity.

Libyan officials dismissed the ICC request, saying the court has no jurisdiction in the country.

The U.N. report came the same day that NATO extended its military mission in Libya for 90 days.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the move is meant to send a clear message to the Gadhafi government that the pressure to oust him will continue.

The current NATO mission, comprising of airstrikes and enforcement of a no-fly zone, would have ended in late June. The extension carries it to September.