ISIS IN ACTION
On 18 March, Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said the LNA had found a mass grave of jihadist fighters in Ganfuda, Benghazi. The grave contained the corpse of former Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC) leader Jamal Makhzoum as well as the corpses of Ansar al-Sharia commanders. The BRSC has confirmed Makhzoum was killed in Ganfuda.
A video was widely shared on social media appearing to show the decomposing body of Makhzoum strapped to the front of a vehicle then being paraded around by LNA fighters. Other photographs show the corpses of jihadist fighters, which also appear to have been exhumed, with LNA fighters posing and taking selfies with the bodies. Another vide which has been circulated shows footage of a man, allegedly identified as Colonel Mahmoud Warfali, executing three kneeling prisoners
The exhumation was condemned by the Libyan Nation Commission for Human Rights (LNCHR) as a ‘heinous’ war crime. On 20 March, UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler and the UK ambassador to Libya Peter Millet both condemned the mutilation of corpses and urged all parties to respect international law. On 20 March, Mismari said that cases of abuse and murder of prisoners were being referred to the military police under the LNA.
On 18 March, the League of Arab States (LAS), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) held a meeting at the headquarters of the League of Arab States to discuss the situation in Libya. The four organisations decided to establish a Quartet to coordinate their efforts and in a statement they ‘reiterated their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya and its institutions under the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat.’ The Quartet also condemned the recent fighting in the Oil Crescent. At the meeting, UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler congratulated the Presidential Council (PC) for negotiating last week’s ceasefire in Tripoli.
Egypt’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy met with Kobler on 19 March to discuss the situation in Libya. Hegazy asserted the importance of all political entities in Libya reaching a peace treaty, adding that this agreement should be based on preserving Libya’s unity and stability.
On 20 March, Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj attended a meeting in Rome between interior ministers from the central Mediterranean to discuss efforts to curb migration from Libya. According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the PC has requested 800 million Euros worth of equipment to help patrol its coast and territorial waters, including radars, boats, helicopters and all-terrain vehicles.
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