By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 19 August 2017:
As a video emerged apparently of Saiqa members praising Mahmoud Warfali as a “hero” who represented all Libyans, the British, French and US governments have said they support the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) probe into allegations that the Saiqa major is guilty of war crimes.
Welcoming Friday’s announcement by the LNA that it is investigating the summary executions shown in video footage, the governments said today in a joint statement: “We note that the LNA has recognised the arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor for a member of the LNA, Major Warfali” continuing that they were encouraged by the decision to suspend him pending an investigation.
They called on the LNA to ensure that the investigation was carried out fully and fairly and that those responsible for the unlawful killings are held to account.
The investigation formally started today.
Not everyone is happy with it, however. In Bani Walid, the centre of the Wafala tribe there were demonstrations in support of Mahmoud Warfali.
Meanwhile footage has been posted on social media in which it seems that members of Saiqa defend Warfali as a hero and denounce the ICC, the UN, Italy and the UK. Speakers do not deny he was responsible for the summary executions of terrorist suspects, but rather they praise him. Those talking to camera in this unverified clip say that the killings had been ordered by armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter and were designed to “cause horror” .
In the statement today, the British, French and Americans insist that they are closely monitoring ‘acts of conflict’.
“Those suspected of committing, ordering, or failing to prevent unlawful killings and torture on all sides” they said, “must be fully investigated and held accountable, as appropriate. We will continue our efforts at the international level to pursue appropriate action against those who are complicit in violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law, whatever their affiliation”.