Africa

Pan-African body condemns deadly Libya airstrike

Condemnation comes after 40-plus migrants killed in airstrike on detention center on outskirts of capital Tripoli

Addis Getachew Tadesse   | 03.07.2019
Pan-African body condemns deadly Libya airstrike File Photo of _ Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

The African Union Commission has strongly condemned an airstrike that struck a detention center in Libya early Wednesday, killing more than 40 innocent civilians, all migrants.

At least 80 migrants were also reportedly wounded in the attack in an eastern suburb of the capital Tripoli.

African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat demanded “an independent investigation be conducted to ensure that those responsible for this horrific crime of innocent civilians be brought to account,” the AU said in a press statement on Wednesday.

“The Chairperson reiterates his call for an immediate ceasefire, and for all parties to ensure the protection and safety of all civilians, especially the migrants trapped in detention centers,” it added.

Moussa Faki also implored the international community to make urgent humanitarian efforts to protect vulnerable migrants, and to redouble efforts to urge all parties to cease hostilities immediately and return to the negotiating table.

Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has accused forces loyal to East Libya-based military commander Khalifa Haftar of being responsible for the attack.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when an uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, Libya’s political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power -- one in Tobruk and a UN-recognized one in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily armed militia groups.

Since 2011, Libya’s northwestern coast has also become a major hub for African migrants seeking access to Europe, especially Italy.

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