political writings

Français    English    Italiano    Español    Deutsch    عربي    русский    Português

Human rights investigations (HRI)
US government documents: Libya an escalating humanitarian disaster

US government documents show Obama and NATO’s intervention in Libya has led to an escalating humanitarian disaster as the Libyan people’s human rights, especially the right to life and security are taken away and the country faces the prospect of failed state status.

22 October 2012

Documents of the United States Department of State, released by the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, show the security situation in Libya going rapidly downhill from June 2011 to July 2012. It appears that the Obama administration decided to bury its head in the sand regarding the increasing levels of violence in the country pursuing a policy of “normalization”. Meanwhile, American diplomats on the ground were increasingly desperate for enhanced security, whilst dismayed at the situation spiralling out of control around them.

Early in the Libya conflict HRI and others repeatedly warned of the nature of the Libyan militias and the dangers they posed to the Libyan people and particularly those of darker skin or members of the ‘wrong’ tribe. American diplomats on the ground have now recognised these facts but the Obama/Clinton team allowed NATO to directly support the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha and to use racism as a weapon to win the war.

As the documents recognise, Libya is now a country ‘without a government or law‘, in which power rests in the hands of warring militias, torture and killings are commonplace, large-scale fighting with tanks and artillery is frequent, electricity and water supplies are constantly threatened, whole towns such as Tawergha have been ethnically cleansed, towns such as Bani Walid face ongoing fierce artillery bombardment.

Below are some extracts of the released documents showing a few of the escalating security incidents since June 2011 reported by the US Embassy Tripoli Libya Regional Security Office.

MILITIA / TRIBAL CLASHES: Large-scale fighting erupted in the outskirts of Tripoli, between Zawiyah and Tripoli, involving a Zawiyah-based militia and a group from the Warshafanna tribe. The Zawiyah group accused the members of the Warshafanna tribe of belonging to Gaddafi loyalist remnants. The Zawiyah group claimed seeing tanks and vehicles with the Gaddafi-era green flag and markings that said “Brigade of the Martyr Muammar Gaddafi”. The Warshafanna denied the Zawiya account, adding that the Zawiya militia had been misled by a rumor that pro-Gaddafi fighters were in the area. The fighting was centered around the lmaya military base, with both sides attempting to control the compound. Heavy weapons, to include vehicle mounted weapons and GRAD rocket launchers were used during the clashes. Casualty reports vary, although the Tripoli Medical Center confirmed 27 dead and 25 wounded.

Interesting to see where Abdul Hakim Belhaj is receiving his funding from:

BELHAJ DETAINED: Tripoli Military Council leader Abdul Hakim Belhaj was detained for approximately one hour on November 24 while attempting to enter Tripoli following a trip to Qatar. He reportedly was carrying a false passport and a suitcase of cash.

Ex-Ghaddafi, ex-CIA, now GoL army commander Khalifa Hiftar’s son trying to enter a bank with gun and hand grenade:

GUNFIGHT AT AMAN BANK: The son of Libyan Gen Khalifa Hiftar was injured in a confrontation with members of the Zintan milita at a Tripoli bank. Hiftar’s son, Saddam, reportedly triggered the clash by trying to enter the Aman bank armed with a gun and a hand grenade. The Aman bank is guarded by elements of the Zintan militia.

For anyone who doubts the influence of the salafis on the New Libya:

In January 2012 – BENGHAZI
SUFI CEMETARY DESTRUCTION BY SALAFISTS: Salafists destroyed the Sufi cemetery of Sidi Ubaid in Benghazi and removed 31 bodies of Sufi saints interred at the site.

Murders of black Libyans continue:

REFUGEE CAMP ATTACKED BY MILITIA: On 6 February, seven male black Libyan civilians from Tawergha were killed by militias who raided their makeshift refugee camp at a former naval academy in Janzour, a suburb of Tripoli.

Fighting in Sebha:

25 – 31 MARCH 2012 – SEBHA
CLASHES IN SEBHA: Clashes in Sebha, 660 km south of Tripoli, resulted in more than 160 dead and at least 360 injured. TNC officials stated that the clashes started after a group from the Tebu tribe killed an employee of the General Electricity Co. and stole his vehicle on Sunday; which sparked the clashes between the militias, city residents, and the Tebu tribe.

Don’t depend on the traffic police for help:

UK DIPLOMATIC ARMORED VEHICLE ATTACKED BY PROTESTORS: At approximately 1815 hours a UK Diplomatic Mission armored vehicle was attacked by a mob of demonstrators. The vehicle was damaged but the occupants escaped injury. The demonstrators who numbered between one hundred (100) and two hundred (200) were members of the Traffic Police Force known as The “Murur”. Policemen were involved in a clash with local militiamen that escalated into a shooting. The Internal Ministry deployed a third security force the “Al-Nayda” or “Al-Shorta” Police to quell the fighting. A two car UK motorcade, unaware of the protest and related violence, drove near the demonstration site and was attacked by protestors. UK Security officials believe the demonstrators mistook the UK vehicles as local militia units.

Matters get worse in April:

01 – 05 – APRIL – 2012 – Zuwara, Al-Jumil and Ragdalin:
INTER-MILITIA FIGHTING/CLASHES: Ongoing clashes between the residents of Zwara, Al-Jumil, and Ragdalin resulted in the death of 26 people and wounded 142 others. … Heavy weapons, including tanks, mortars, anti-aircraft weapons and artillery were used during the fighting.

CRUDE IED THROWN OVER WALL OF US MISSION; 2 CONTRACT GUARDS ARRESTED AS SUSPECTS: At approximately 2300 hours, one former and one current U.S. Mission contract guards threw a crude IED, referred to as a ‘fish bomb’ or ‘gelateena’ over the wall of the U.S. Mission compound in Benghazi. The two suspects were arrested by members of the 17 Feb Martyrs Brigade which provides armed security for the Mission compound.

PM’s office attacked:

DEMONSTRATORS STORM PM OFFICE; 3 EMBASSY EMPLOYEES EVACUATED FROM SITE: Approximately 125 protestors from a militia based in the Ben Ashour area of Tripoli protested in from of the Prime Minister’s office. The protest, which began peacefully around 1100 in the morning, escalated when the protestors broke through the outer perimeter fence and stormed the Prime Office building at approximately 1225 hours. The protestors were able to break through the limited security on-site and entered the first floor of the building. The U.S. Embassy had three employees on-site attending bi-lateral coordination meetings. U.S. Embassy security officers operating in a mobile Quick Reaction Force (QRF) responded to the site and evacuated the employees and a local driver before the demonstration escalated further. Shortly after the U.S. Embassy employees were evacuated, demonstrators beginning firing their weapons at the site.

Ethnic cleansing reports in Libya’s south:

20 APRIL 2012 – KUFRA
INTER-MILITIA CLASHES: A ceasefire in the desert town of Kubra ended on April 20 when Arab militias and the Libya Shield brigade began fighting with Tebu militias….Tebu leaders claimed that southern Libya’s Arabs are waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against them with the tacit support of the Libyan government.

The people and the army don’t see eye-to-eye:

24 APRIL 2012 – KUFRA
KUFRA RESIDENTS ATTEMPT TO HIT MOD AIRCRAFT WITH GUNFIRE: Unconfirmed media reports claimed that during his visit to the Kufra area to oversee a recent ceasefire, the Minister of Defense’s motorcade and aircraft were fired on in separate incidents.

New Libya’s prisoners really want to get out:

FAILED PRISON BREAK: In the early morning hours a Benghazi prison was the site of an attempted prison break in which prisoners and prison guards exchanged gunfire. Officials claimed that the fighting killed three prisoners and three guards.

The site of lynchings of black people in the early days of the revolt:

COURTHOUSE BOMBED: At approximately 0500 hours, the Benghazi courthouse was targeted by three crude lEDs

The Militia Union want amnesty for the crimes they have committed:

01 MAY 2012 – TRIPOLI
PROTESTS AT TNC OFFICES IN TRIPOLI: Several hundred armed revolutionaries from the Union of Revolutionary Battalions surrounded the TNC’s offices in Tripoli as part of protests over benefits for former fighters. Between 300 – 400 fully armed ex-rebels surrounded the NTC’s offices with gun-mounted trucks. …The demonstrators claimed to represent 200 militia brigades and met with NTC Chairman Jalil. The protestors presented a list of demands to the NTC, including having a direct voice in governing the country, seats assigned to them in the new National Assembly, and amnesty for any crimes committed during the revolution.

“Crime levels in Tripoli have significantly increased with the fall of the Ghaddafi regime,” according to the USG:


More clashes:

14 MAY 2012 MURZUQ
A Tuareg leader and eight others were killed in clashes that lasted for more than seven hours. One man from the Ghadames brigade was also killed and more than 20 people injured. Local officials added that Tuareg militia had also attacked a National Army checkpoint located at 50 km outside the city on 11 May. Ghadames brigade members reportedly called on the National Army, Army Chief of Staff, and Special Forces from Benghazi, but no reinforcements arrived. The clashes lasted for more than seven hours and included mortar fire and 106mm anti-tank rockets. A hospital, the airport, and several residential houses were reportedly damaged during the fighting. The Libyan Army Chief of Staff subsequently attributed responsibility for the attacks on a irregular militia called the “Western Region Military Junta”.

Libyan freedom fighters attack the UNHCR for “trying to convert Tawerghans“:

22 MAY 2012 – BENGHAZI
ICRC BUILDING AND BANK STRUCK BY RPGs: The International Committee for the Red Cross/Red Crescent (ICRC) building was hit by two RPG rounds, one at approximately 0330 hours and a second at 0530. … The imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman Brigades claimed responsibility on 27 May for the attack of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The brigade accused the ICRC of attempting to convert internally displaced members of the Tawergha ethnic minority to Christianity. it called for the NGO to close its offices, and declared Libya to be an Islamic state.

Militia torture:

28 MAY 2012 – ZLINTEN
BODY OF ZLINTEN MAN TORTURED TO DEATH DUMPED IN LOCAL HOSPITAL: … According to the Libyan Human Rights Observatory, it has sent a report to the Attorney General which is to said to claim that Attir was tortured and murdered by five named members of a local brigade after being held for six days during at one of the brigade’s command centers in the town.

More clashes in Kufra:

10 JUNE 2012 – KUFRA
CLASHES IN KUFRA: … The Tobu rep stated that the fighting started after the former militiamen, known as the Libya Shield Battalion, shelled the tribe’s district. A third official claimed that an attack on a security checkpoint in the town triggered the violence. The fighting continued into the 14th of June with at least 38 people were killed and as many as 150 wounded.

Negotiations between the Zintan militia (who are holding Saif Al Islam hostage) and the government of Libya:

10 JUNE 2012 – TRIPOLI
ZINTAN MILITIAMEN SEIZE GOVERNMENT CARS IN TRIPOLI: A group from one of the Zintan militias, Brigade 14, which was assigned to protect the Algerian-Libyan borders, seized a number of government vehicles in Tripoli on Monday. … Brigade 14 militia members stated that they seized the government vehicles due to the government’s failure to provide financial “entitlements” to the brigade. The Ministry of Interior confirmed that at least 33 government vehicles were taken by the brigade, adding that negotiations between the government and the brigade were ongoing.

Now we begin to see why people are asking questions of Obama’s “normalization” policy:

RPG ATTACK ON UK AMBASSADORS CONVOY; 2 SECURITY OFFICERS INJURED: At approximately 1530 hours, a 3-car motorcade carrying the UK Ambassador was targeted by an RPG attack

LIBYAN AIRFORCE HELICOPTER STRUCK BY GUNFIRE; ONE HNEC EMPLOYEE KILLED: A Libyan air force helicopter transporting polling material was struck by gunfire, suspected of being from a 14.5 millimeter anti-aircraft weapon,

Human trafficking is on the rise:

SECURITY FORCES ABANDON POST IN PROTEST OVER DANGEROUS CONDITIONS: Security forces on the Libyan-Egyptian border crossing at Musaid abandoned their posts in protest at what they said are the dangerous conditions they have been exposed to, which included being regularly shot at by smugglers involved in human trafficking.

Finally – according to the released documents:

Local officials remain concerned with the chaos and radicalization that could result from protracted civil conflict in Libya. Neighboring countries fear extremist groups who could take advantage of the political violence and chaos should Libya become a failed state. (Our emphasis)

Humanrightsinvestigations.org , October 22, 2012