Worst Fighting Since 2011 in Libya
TRIPOLI – INTERNATIONAL – A huge fuel depot in Libya’s capital was burning out of control on Tuesday, set ablaze in fighting between rival militias that has driven the country to chaos. Three years after the NATO-backed revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, two rival brigades of former rebels fighting for control of Tripoli International Airport have pounded each other’s positions with Grad rockets, artillery fire and cannon for two weeks, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield.
The blaze at the fuel depot was ignited by a missile strike that hit millions of litres of fuel.
Foreign governments have looked on powerless as anarchy sweeps across the North African oil producer. Western countries have urged their nationals to leave, shut their embassies and pulled diplomats out, after two weeks of clashes among rival factions of former rebels killed nearly 160 people in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.
The United States pulled their Embassy Staff out removing them under a heavily armed convoy, and had US Troops offshore ready to move in by helicopter had their been any threats.
Fighting Brings Calls for Peace
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court states that she is “deeply troubled” by the escalating violence in Libya, and has called on all parties to refrain from committing criminal acts that may fall within the jurisdiction of the Court.
The situation in Libya since 15 February 2011 is one of seven currently under investigation by the ICC, which is based in The Hague.
The country’s recent turmoil is reportedly some of the worst fighting since the 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi and the North African nation embarked on its democratic transition.
“Recent reports of alleged attacks carried out against the civilian population and civilian objects in Tripoli and Benghazi are a cause for great concern. Such deplorable acts of violence must immediately cease,” Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.
“We will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those who commit crimes under the Court’s jurisdiction in Libya irrespective of their official status or affiliation,” she added.
Ms. Bensouda called on all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from targeting civilians or civilian objects, or committing any criminal act that may fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
Further, she urged all parties to the conflict to be vigilant and to take all necessary measures to prevent the commission of such crimes.
FILES: DAILY MOTION / REUTERS