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UNITED NATIONS, -- Justice, accountability and the deterrent effects of the law remain "critical components" for achieving lasting peace in Libya, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.
Fatou Bensouda, as she presented her latest report on the situation in the country to the Council, encouraged the country's Government to give priority to devising effective plans and strategies to address atrocity crimes, and to invest in the relevant national institutions responsible for such work.
"This will demonstrate, in concrete terms, that justice and accountability constitute key Government priorities underpinning efforts to ensure peace and stability in Libya, and that the victims will have the opportunity to seek redress through the Libyan courts," she said.
The ICC Prosecutor said that the past six months had witnessed significant developments in Libya's "slow and difficult" process towards the establishment of a unity Government, and that her office hoped that the signing in December 2015 of the UN-brokered agreement "marks the beginning of the end of the long period of turmoil and conflict in Libya."
For its part, her office stood ready to work collaboratively with the Government of National Accord in its efforts to build a secure, peaceful and prosperous Libya for all Libyan people, she said.
Turning to the situation in Libya, Bensouda said it requires collaboration and coordination between all relevant actors at the national, regional and international levels, as well as the support of the Council.
The threat of Da'esh or other groups proclaiming allegiance to Al-Qaida remained real and the consequences were too costly to be ignored, the prosecutor said. Such consequences included instability and the dire humanitarian situation in Libya, which in turn result in mass migration and the spread of terrorism in the country and the region.
In that vein, the prosecutor reiterated calls to all national and international law enforcement agencies working on Libya to contact her office and join in its efforts to strengthen the network of law enforcement agencies that "aim to contribute to bringing an end to civilian suffering and destruction in Libya."
The prosecutor urged the Government of National Accord to prioritize the transfer of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi to its own custody and facilitate his surrender to the ICC. It was also important for the Government of National Accord to consult with the Pre-Trial Chamber on issues relating to the surrender of Gaddafi, and to seek assistance from the international community on how best to facilitate his surrender to the Court without further delay, she said.
Emphasizing that Libya had submitted to the ICC that Gaddafi continues to be in custody in Zintan and is presently "unavailable" to the Libyan State, the prosecutor noted that her office had recently filed a request with the Pre-Trial Chamber for an order directing the Registry to transmit the request for arrest and surrender Gaddafi directly to al-'Ajami al-'Atiri, the commander of the battalion that is detaining Mr. Gaddafi in Zintan.
In addition, Bensouda said her office remained concerned about ongoing civilian deaths, with reported executions by Da'esh accounting for the majority of those, although civilian deaths continue to also result from the Libya Dawn-Libya National Army conflict. Abductions, detentions and ill treatment in detention centres continued to be reported on all sides of the conflict, she said.
The Mediterranean-Libya migratory route to Europe remained a popular option among refugees and migrants who were particularly vulnerable to violence, sexual violence and ill treatment in Libya, the prosecutor also said. Detention of thousands of migrants continued to be a source of financing for many militant groups in Libya, she added.
"We, as the international community, must take a closer look at who profits from criminal activity in Libya, and take coordinated steps to prevent further violations," said Bensouda. "This must be a priority for all who are affected by the criminal trafficking of human beings."
Her office was also optimistic that, in the coming months, it would be able to resume its functions in Libya, and accelerate efforts to bring to justice those responsible for Rome Statute crimes, in coordination with key partners in and outside of Libya.
Source: Name News Network