UN Human Rights Council to meet in Geneva amid calls for Libya inquiry

The United Nations’ 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council convenes today in Geneva. Running for 25 days, this will

human rights council 2020

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty

The United Nations’ 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council convenes today in Geneva.

Running for 25 days, this will be the first session since Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) re-joined the Human Rights Council last October. On the agenda is a discussion of human rights violations in Libya.

Last October, Amnesty International released a report concluding that both the self-declared Libyan National Army (LNA) and the GNA had likely committed war crimes.

Crisis in Libya erupted last April when the LNA launched an assault on the GNA in Tripoli. Since then, at least 287 civilians have been killed and 146,000 Libyans have been displaced. Indeed, a recent UN report concluded that over half of the civilian casualties in 2019 were due to airstrikes—delivered from weapons that the UN believes were received from a foreign state.

As the last prosecution of Libyan militias committing human rights abuses occurred in 2011, the UN will likely discuss redefining international protocols for investigating war crimes in the war-torn country. Expect this session to spur the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to comprehensively investigate human rights abuses committed in Libya. However, as the conflict rages on, do not expect the GNA to enthusiastically call for such a commission.

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