Did The UN Enable GNA Militias To Falsely Accuse LNA Of War Crimes?
During a press conference on Wednesday, June 24, the Libyan National Army spokesman Ahmad al-Mismari made a number of important statements, attracting attention to the continuous flow of arms and militants from Turkey, who attempts to get hold of natural resources in Northern Africa and strengthen its influence in Niger, Chad, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen.
The LNA official went into great detail about the recent accusations of war crimes made against the LNA, namely the statement by Stephani Williams, Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Williams expressed concern over the reports of violations allegedly committed by the LNA in the city of Tarhuna, mentioning the execution of prisoners, looting and use of chemical weapons.
After Tarhuna was captured by the militias loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) June 5th, local citizens started to complain about violence, robberies and arsons. Videos of these violations filmed by the militants themselves were presented by Al-Mismari during the press conference.
The LNA spokesman also pointed out that Williams failed to mention any violations committed by the Islamist militias and deleted her statement from the UNSMIL web-site.
He followed with saying that the videos of mass graves that were allegedly used to bury Tarhuna citizens killed by the LNA, and videos of mutilation of corpses are fake. Al-Mismari explained that the bodies filmed in the “mass graves” were likely brought from Misurata and belong to LNA soldiers who were killed in battle or executed by the enemy. Moreover, these accusations are not backed by the witnesses of the citizens of Tarhuna, who deny that the LNA committed any violations. In turn, the LNA command possesses testimonies given by those who dug the graves under the orders of the GNA militias who intended to use them for filming fake videos. The LNA is ready to provide these testimonies to international humanitarian organizations, Al-Mismari added.
He also mentioned that bodies of two LNA soldiers were mutilated by the GNA fighters, who filmed the process with the aim to blame the LNA for corpse mutilation. Al-Mismari concluded with accusing UNSMIL head of giving the GNA militias a pretext to fake charges against the LNA by making such unfounded statements.