Politics, Middle East

Rights group: UAE airstrike killed 8 civilians in Libya

Human Rights Watch accuses UAE of not taking necessary precautions to minimize harm to civilians in attack

Zehra Nur Duz   | 29.04.2020
Rights group: UAE airstrike killed 8 civilians in Libya


An airstrike by the United Arab Emirates on a biscuit factory south of Tripoli on Nov. 18, 2019, killed eight civilians and injured 27 others, according to Human Rights Watch.

The rights group released a report Wednesday about the drone attack on the Al-Sunbulah biscuit factory in Wadi al-Rabie.

The attack on the factory targeted a total of 35 civilians, including seven Libyans and 28 foreign nationals, the report said.

“The UAE appeared to take little or no action to minimize harm to civilians in its attack,” the watchdog said.

The group called on UAE to carry out a transparent investigation of the attack and compensate victims or their families.

UAE has been conducting airstrikes to support forces loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar since the beginning of the armed conflict in Tripoli in April 2019, according to the report.

Some of these attacks have caused civilian casualties, it stressed.

Haftar unilaterally declared himself the ruler of Libya on Monday, claiming that he "accepted the mandate of the Libyan people" and terming the Skhirat agreement of 2015 "a thing of the past."

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) launched a failed offensive to take Tripoli last April, which caused bloodshed and suffering but stalled on the outskirts of the city. 

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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