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FACTDROP: Russia calls for probe into NATO's "massive bombings" in Libya


Russia calls for probe into NATO's "massive bombings" in Libya

Πηγή: People's Daily
By Xinhua
March 13 2012

UNITED NATIONS, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Monday called for an investigationinto the "massive bombings" by NATO during last year's Libya conflict.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the call at a high- level UN SecurityCouncil meeting on the current situation in the Middle East.

"The organizations or countries that volunteered to implement Security Councilresolutions must give a full account of their actions to the Council. That applies toNATO also, which, as we all know, offered to secure a no-fly zone in Libya, but in realityengaged in massive bombings," Lavrov said.

"It is sad that it is yet to begin any investigation following information about the civiliancasualties caused by the massive bombings," he said, adding "We believe that the UNsecretary- general should bring clarity to the matter by invoking the 2008 JointDeclaration on UN/NATO Secretariat Cooperation."

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was present at the council meeting, chaired by UK ForeignSecretary William Hague.

On March 9, a report by the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya, presented tothe 19th Human Rights Council in Geneva, called upon NATO to investigate civiliancasualties during its Libya operation.

The commission, established last March to investigate "all alleged violations ofinternational human rights law" Libya, documented five of the 20 NATO air strikes itinvestigated.

A total of 60 civilians were killed and 55 injured in the five air missions, it said.

The single largest case of civilian casualties took place in the town of Majer on Aug. 8last year, when 34 civilians died and 38 were injured, according to the report.

Commission head Philippe Kirsch has said that the commission was unable to concludewhether NATO took all necessary precautions to avoid civilian casualties due to a lackof sufficient information.

"We know that NATO has conducted an inquiry, and we asked to be informed with theresults of the inquiry, but we are not; we asked to meet with NATO officials, we couldnot," he said.

The report also concluded that both sides in the Libyan conflicts have conductedhuman rights violation crimes including unlawful killing, arbitrary detentions andenforced disappearances, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, sexual violence andattacks on civilians.

The commission urged the interim government of Libya to take urgent steps toestablish an independent judiciary, charge detainees being held in connection with theconflict for their involvement in specific criminal acts that constitute serious crimes andrelease those against whom there is no such evidence.

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