The United Nations has expressed shock at the reported mass graves in Libya.
This was disclosed on Thursday June 11, 2020, after at least eight mass graves were discovered in an area retaken by the country’s internationally recognised government from renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
According the Government of National Accord, most of the graves were found in Tarhuna, Haftar’s last stronghold in western Libya.
The city was used by his forces as a launchpad during an ill-fated 14-month offensive to seize the capital from the GNA.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya wrote on Twitter that, “UN notes with horror, reports on the discovery of at least eight mass graves in past days, the majority of them in Tarhuna.”
“International law requires that the authorities conduct prompt, effective & transparent investigations into all alleged cases of unlawful deaths,” it added.
On Thursday, the GNA’s justice ministry launched a committee to investigate the graves, according to the UN mission.
The United States also expressed concern over the grim findings.
“We are troubled by reports that GNA forces are discovering bodies of civilians, IEDs and land mines in areas retaken from the LNA,” said David Schenker, US assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs.
“We are similarly concerned that a GNA offensive on Sirte would have serious humanitarian consequence. When armed groups and their external backers escalate, the Libyan people suffer,” he added.