The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda has condemned the violence in Benghazi, Libya that led to the death of at least 34 people.
Tuesday’s first bomb went off outside Salmani neighbourhood’s Bait Radwan mosque, frequented by the fighters of Brigade 210 from eastern Libyan security forces, the Libya Observer reported.
The second explosion occurred minutes later close to the first blast site after security and health officials arrived.
In a statement Bensouda said “I am deeply concerned by reports that unidentified persons detonated two car bombs outside the Baya’at al-Radwan mosque in the Al-Salmani district of Benghazi, Libya on the evening of 23 January 2018, killing at least 34 people, including children, and wounding over 90 others.
“I am equally appalled by photographs and video made public on 24 January 2018, that purportedly show Major Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli executing 10 persons in front of the Baya’at al-Radwan mosque, in what appears to constitute retaliation for the cowardly bombings of 23 January 2018.
“These bombings and executions demand both condemnation and a meaningful response. My Office remains committed to doing its part, within its means, by investigating and prosecuting grave crimes in Libya falling under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”), in particular, the crimes of commanders and superiors, irrespective of the identity of the perpetrators or their affiliation.
“Since 15 August 2017, Mr al-Werfalli has been the subject of a warrant of arrest issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC for his alleged direct participation in seven incidents in 2016 and 2017, in which 33 individuals were executed.
“I once again repeat my call to Libya to take all necessary steps possible to immediately arrest and surrender Mr al-Werfalli to the ICC. I also repeat my call on all States, including members of the United Nations Security Council, to support Libya in facilitating Mr al-Werfalli’s arrest and surrender to the Court.
“I note that on 24 January 2018, the United Nations Mission in Libya expressed alarm at the “brutal and outrageous summary executions in Benghazi” and demanded the immediate handover of Mr al-Werfalli to the ICC. These calls must be heeded with concrete follow-up action. Only when perpetrators realise there will be serious consequences for their crimes can we hope to deter future crimes.”
The statement added “I am dismayed that Mr al-Werfalli appears to remain in a position of command, and allegedly continues to commit crimes with impunity, despite an official statement from the General Command of the Libyan National Army (“LNA”) in August 2017 that Mr al-Werfalli had been arrested and was under investigation by a military prosecutor.
“I once again call on General Khalifa Haftar, as commander of the LNA and superior of Mr al-Werfalli, to heed my previous call to the LNA to work with the Libyan authorities to enable the suspect’s immediate arrest and surrender to the ICC.
“The appalling cycle of violence and impunity in Libya cannot be allowed to continue for the sake of the Libyan people and the security and stability of the country and the region.
“Anyone with information relating to the bombings or the executions mentioned above, please contact the Office of the Prosecutor at the following email address: [email protected]
“The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC’s jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire; Mali; Georgia and Burundi.
“Since 20 November 2017, Pre-Trial Chamber III of the Court is seized of the Prosecutor’s request for authorisation to commence an investigation into the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Colombia; the Gabonese Republic; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; Nigeria; and Ukraine.”