The Libyan American Alliance condemns in the strongest terms the kidnapping, torture, and murder of dozens of Bangladeshi and African migrants in Libya, as reported by the Government of National Accord (GNA) last Thursday. LAA would like to express our horror at these recent events and call on the UN-recognized GNA to mobilize all the resources at its disposal to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
According to news reports, the GNA has issued arrest warrants for suspects in the killing of the 30 migrants. LAA commends these initial steps and urges local authorities to cooperate with the Ministry of the Interior in bringing these criminals to justice.
LAA recognizes the tremendous challenges facing the GNA government in fighting a warlord and his militias outside Tripoli, but we believe the government is equally tasked with maintaining peace and enforcing the rule of law all across Libya. For these reasons, LAA calls on the international community to work with the GNA to establish peace and security across Libyan soil.
This tragic event is part of a troubling pattern of mass-casualty crimes perpetrated against migrants over the last several years. Nearly a year ago, in July 2019, airstrikes launched by forces loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar bombed a migrant detention center in Tajoura, killing and injuring more than 100 migrants. Since that tragedy, continued indiscriminate shelling by these forces has taken hundreds of lives, among them dozens of migrants.
Dr. Esam Omeish, President of the Libyan American Alliance said, “Migrants in Libya, authorized or unauthorized, must be protected from predators and human traffickers. There is no place in Libya for these inhumane acts. We seek a peaceful, secure, and prosperous Libya where migrants are treated with dignity and compassion.”
May 26, 2020