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The New Arab

ICC warns Libya rogue general Haftar to hand over war criminal

Haftar edges closer to Tripoli

Date of publication: 18 December, 2019

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Mahmoud Al-Werfalli is wanted by the ICC for his alleged role in war crimes in Libya.

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Tripoli, Libya
The International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor has warned Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar that she is keeping a close watch over his actions in Tripoli and demands one of his most senior lieutenants, fugitive Mahmoud al-Werfalli, be handed over to international authorities.

Werfalli is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes under the Rome Statute.

He is facing charges for "murder as a war crime", including one incident in 2018 when Al-Werfalli allegedly shot dead 10 people in front of a mosque in Benghazi.

"I have noted with grave concern even though two warrants were out against him [Werfalli], he has been promoted by Haftar and that we look at this as being very serious and have called on general Haftar to arrest general Mahmoud al-Werfalli to the ICC," ICC's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told France 24.

"After looking at the situation very seriously what we look for is whether crimes under the Rome Statute have been committed by anyone whosoever and this is part of the analysis that we are making in the Libya situation."

This comes after the internationally-approved Government of National Accord (GNA) on Wednesday accused Haftar and his army of raining missiles on civilian areas in Tripoli.

The official press office of the "Volcano of Rage", the government campaign to counter the assault led by the rogue general's forces, announced on their Facebook and Twitter accounts that groups loyal to Haftar had launched a barrage BM-21 Grad series rockets into civilian areas.

Footage showing the attacks have been uploaded to the social media accounts belonging to the campaign, captioned: "Scenes showing a rain of BM-21 Grad missile rockets fired randomly by militias loyal to the rogue war criminal [Khalifa Haftar] into northern Tripoli, targeting civilians."

Despite international condemnations regarding the assault, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has promised to continue support for the rogue Libyan general.

At a young conference in the city of Sharm Al-Sheikh in Sinai he said that "Egypt's position supporting [Haftar's self-styled] Libyan National Army is solid and can't be replaced.

The Egyptian dictator said that Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj's government was being held hostage by "terrorist militias", in a reference to the pro-government militias which have defended the Libyan capital Tripoli against an ongoing assault by Haftar's forces which began in April 2019.

Sisi warned against attempts "to control" neighbouring Libya, as tensions grow over Turkey's expanding ties with the Tripoli-based government.

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