Use of Mercenaries
1. Introduction 677.
The Commission in its First Report found that foreign nationals took part in the conflict, particularly on the side of the Qadhafi forces, but indicated that further investigation would be required to determine whether those armed individuals fell into the category of "mercenaries" within the provisions of international law.
678. The Commission notes that the issue of alleged use of mercenaries in the Libyan conflict has received significant focus: for instance, on 17 March 2011, the Security Council passed Resolution 1973 in which it deplored "the continuing use of mercenaries by the Libyan authorities".
968 At a press conference on 16 May 2011, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court indicated it had "direct evidence of Saif Al Islam organizing the recruitment of mercenaries."
969 The issue has also attracted widespread media attention.
In the course of its investigations, the Commission has received multiple reports of the use of foreign nationals on the part of the Qadhafi forces. It reviewed videos and photographs purporting to show mercenaries employed by the Government. It was evident that many interviewees used the terms "foreigners" and "mercenaries" interchangeably to describe persons with dark skin who had taken part either in the conflict, or in actions suppressing the demonstrations. Those interviewed usually identified "mercenaries" as coming from sub-Saharan Africa. A minority spoke about mercenaries from the Balkans. As noted in elsewhere in this report, sub-Saharan nationals in Libya were frequently presumed to be mercenaries and this led to their being the victims of attacks as well as arbitrary arrest and detention
91. The Commission established that an organised group of Sudanese fighters were brought in by the Qadhafi government specifically to fight the thuwar. The Commission has not found that these fighters were promised or paid material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to local Qadhafi forces, a requirement for these individuals or groups to fall within the definition of a "mercenary" under the United Nations Convention against Mercenaries or under Organization of African Unity (OAU) Convention on Mercenarism. The Commission also determined that there were fighters within the Qadhafi forces who, though of foreign descent, were born in Libya or resident there. They would also fall outside the definition of mercenaries.
689. The Commission considers it established that fighters of foreign descent fought alongside Qadhafi forces during the conflict in Libya. It is unable to confirm however that these individuals or groups fall within the definition of a "mercenary" under the United Nations Convention against Mercenaries or under the OAU Convention on Mercenarism given the lack of information about the terms under and purpose for which they were contracted.
What the Comission did find is that both sides committed many serious violations, including war crimes but that the rebels continue to do so with impunity.
|"Breaches of international human rights law continue to occur in a climate of impunity,"|
The New York Times notes
Certain revenge attacks have continued unabated, particularly the campaign by the militiamen of Misurata to wipe a neighboring town, Tawergha, off the map...the militiamen were continuing to hunt down the residents of the neighboring town no matter where they had fled across Libya. As recently as Feb. 6, militiamen from Misurata attacked a camp in Tripoli where residents of Tawergha had fled, killing an elderly man, a woman and three children,
The commission remains “deeply concerned” that no independent investigations or prosecutions appear to have been instigated into killings by such militias,...
It was also widely reported during the fighting last year that Gaddafi's forces were indiscriminately shelling towns and cities but what wasn't reported at the time was that the rebels had adopted similar tactics.
|"The scale of the destruction there (Sirte) and the nature of the weaponry employed indicated that the attacks were indiscriminate,"|
|The Commission documented a pattern of severe torture perpetrated in particular against Tawerghans by Misratan thuwar, who accuse them of committing rapes and other crimes in Misrata. Detainees told the Commission that they confessed to serious crimes including rape - that they denied committing - after they could no longer withstand the torture.|
Last year Cameron told a crowd in Benghazi "Your city was an inspiration to the world as you threw off a dictator and chose freedom," however what this UN report makes clear is that the rebels Cameron found so inspiring are behaving in the same brutal manner as Gaddafi and the NTC are failing miserably to rein them in.
I wonder if that blowhard Cameron still thinks the bloodthirsty rebels are an inspiration to the world?