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ISIS Prisoners in Libya Finally Released

ISIS IN ACTION
On 6 April, 28 Eritrean and 5 Nigerian women and children who were captured and enslaved by ISIS in Sirte were released from prison in Misrata, where they had been held since the Misratan-led al-Bunyan al-Marsus forces ousted ISIS from the city in December. The women and children were captured by ISIS fighters when they seized Sirte in early 2015. After escaping for Sirte, they detained by Misratan forces while they were investigated to see if they had been working with ISIS.

The Libyan attorney-general’s office announced that it had cleared the women of any wrongdoing in mid-February, but their release was delayed for several more weeks. Following their release on 6 April, the women have been handed over to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) who is expected to facilitate their resettlement or repatriation depending on their asylum statuses.

WESTERN RESPONSE
On 10 April, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Al-Nahyan is the deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces. Al-Nahyan praised the Libyan National Army (LNA) for its role in fighting terrorism and said the UAE would continue to support Libyan efforts to combat terrorist organizations. On 9 April, in response to suicide bombings at two churches in Egypt which killed over 40 people, the House of Representatives (HoR) reiterated its calls for the UN to lift its arms embargo against Libya so that the LNA can prevent similar attacks from happening in Libya.

On 5 April, Fayez al-Serraj, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), met with General Thomas D. Waldhauser, the head of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and US Ambassador to Libya Peter Bodde at the AFRICOM headquarters in Germany. During the meeting, Serraj and the US officials reportedly discussed the interaction between civilian and military organizations in Libya. An AFRICOM spokesperson said that AFRICOM did not advocate a position one way or the other with regards to collaboration between the GNA and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, but rather was trying to facilitate stability in Libya.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of EyeOnISISinLibya.com and researcher of World History at Cambridge University

This article was used with explicit permission from the author.