By Walid Abdullah
Security personnel affiliated with Libya’s UN-backed unity government on Wednesday detained four Libyans suspected of involvement in the kidnap and torture of several Sudanese migrants, according to the government’s Interior Ministry.
In a statement posted on Facebook, a Special Deterrent Force linked to the ministry accused the four of having kidnapped and tortured eight Sudanese migrants, all of whom, it said, had since been released.
"Upon the orders of Libya’s Attorney-General, the four kidnappers were arrested in the town of Al-Qadahiya in the northern city of Sirte," the statement read.
Late Tuesday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry summoned Libya’s charge d'affaires in Khartoum, Ali Muftah al-Mahrouq, to voice its condemnation of the “brutal treatment” to which the migrants had allegedly been subject.
The row began earlier this week when video footage appeared on social-media platforms purportedly showing the Sudanese migrants being tortured by their Libyan captors.
Undocumented Sudanese migrants frequently attempt to cross the Libyan border with a view to eventually reaching Europe.
Due to a chronic lack of reliable statistics, however, it remains unknown just how many Sudanese illegally cross the border each year.
Libya has remained dogged by chaos since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of longtime President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.