Libya- 17 Bodies Found in Tarhuna, Including a GNA Official

  • The discovery has raised the total number of bodies recently exhumed from mass graves found in the area to 112.
  • GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha revealed that among the bodies exhumed in Tarhuna was that of a general and former director of the information office of the Ministry of Interior of the government of Tripoli, Mabrouk Khalaf.
  • Libya has for long been the scene of a long civil war that began on February 15, 2011 which was followed, in October of the same year, by the fall of the dictatorial regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya’s Government of National Accord of Tripoli (GNA), announced on Saturday that it had found five other mass graves containing at least 17 corpses in the western city of Tarhuna, 80 km to the southeast of Tripoli. The discovery has raised the total number of bodies recently exhumed from mass graves found in the area to 112.

More than 100 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves in Tarhuna this year

GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha revealed that among the bodies exhumed in Tarhuna was that of a general and former director of the information office of the Ministry of Interior of the government of Tripoli, Mabrouk Khalaf.

According to Bashagha, the man was killed by the Kaniyat militia, led by the Al-Kani family who controlled the Tarhuna area.

For Bashagha, it is necessary to hold the Al-Kani accountable for “their terrible crimes and their terrorist acts” both locally and internationally. Bashagha said that mass graves represent ‘atrocious acts’ that shouldn’t go unpunished.

The new discoveries in Tarhuna are by the GNA, led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj. Tarhuna is a former stronghold of the Libyan National Army (LNA) headed by the general Khalifa Haftar.

In June, the Foreign Minister of the GNA, Mohamed Siala sent a letter to the UN Security Council, requesting that the evidence of alleged war crimes represented by mass graves be submitted to the International Court of Justice.

Internally, however, given the growing number of bodies found in the Tarhuna area, on October 29, the GNA issued an arrest warrant for the leaders of the local Kaniyat militia , affiliated with the LNA since 2019.

For years, the armed group was accused of having perpetrated numerous executions of prisoners including their opponents, rivals and alleged criminals. According to multiple sources, the militia leaders are currently in eastern Libya.

Tarhuna was recaptured by the GNA forces on June 5, after the GNA Army, with the support of Turkey, definitively ended the siege of Tripoli by Haftar’s forces, which lasted 14 months and began on April 4, 2019. During this period, Tarhuna had been used by the LNA forces as a strategic base to launch attacks on Tripoli.

Seventeen bodies unearthed in Libyan mass graves.

Scene of War

Libya has for long been the scene of a long civil war that began on February 15, 2011 which was followed, in October of the same year, by the fall of the dictatorial regime of Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, the country has never managed to achieve a democratic transition and, at the moment, there is the confrontation of the militias of the GNA and those of the LNA.

The GNA of al-Sarraj is the government officially recognized by the UN in Libya, it was born on 17 December 2015 with the Skhirat agreements, signed in Morocco and then expired on 17 December 2017 and was formally supported by Italy, Qatar and Turkey.

The LNA forces are on their part close to the Tobruk government which controls eastern Libya and is led by Aguila Saleh, and, internationally, they are supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, France and Russia.

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Vincent othieno

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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