By Senussi Bsaikri
Ganfouda, for some House of Representatives (HoR) members and for the official spokesperson of the affiliated army that led by General Khalifa Haftar is a terrorist hotbed, where fighters and civilians are equal, thus came the indiscriminate military operations, the whole area is seized, bombed with planes and artillery.
The dangerous humanitarian situation inside Gandouda wasn’t such for a political bargain, different rights groups talked about it, post photos of stranded civilians that show how serious the situation is, the United Nations envoy to Libya pointed to humanitarian crisis inside the neighborhood.
The crisis, which Eastern elites and broad sector of public opinion face, is that either they are biased with the rightful position, saying that all who are inside are terrorists, families are only incubators backing and supporting them, not just stranded who were forced to stay. Or they remained silent, without condemning politicians and military men approach that indeed violates international laws and war conventions.
One of the most noticeable deviations of the conflict in Benghazi is that fighting and confrontations took a violent approach, the core fighting justification, which is ending terrorists and their cruel practices, turns out to be not faceted, given the army involvement in similar practices but more brutal in some cases. Torture, throwing bodies along roads or dumps, and burning the body of a Benghazi Shura Council fighter, threw unjustifiable dark shadows.
On the level of military operations management, outcomes showed low discipline levels, that is evident in the land air bombardment, dealing with prisoners and afflicted, Ganfouda is a living example.
Statements by military officials or axis commanders expose the lack of awareness of military laws, the absence of war management regularities. If you asked the Dignity Operation leaders, or the army affiliated to the HoR about the international humanitarian laws, war laws, or conventions managing fights, their answer will reveal nothing important.
If you asked about the 1949 first Geneva convention, about the protection of the injured from both sides, or the second 1949 Geneva about the protection of injured in high seas, the third Geneva about the protection of prisoners from both sides, the fourth about protecting civilians and conflicts afflicted, the protocols added in 1977 that promote civilians’ protection, you won’t get an answer. The prevailing attitude is violence, one of Benghazi axis commander once said that damaging and burning the terrorists’ houses protects national unity.
As for political, social,l and humanitarian levels, Ganfouda took serious turning point, following Omar Ashkal rejection to leave clashes area without the stranded families, women, and children. Omar Ashkal one prominent figure of the former regime, Moammar Gaddafi’s cousin, his presence inside Ganfouda back dates to his arrest in February 2011, he was deported along dozens of prisoners by Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council to Ganfouda.
The impasse imposed by Omar Ashkal is massive, he belongs to a regime most of its components and cycles are included within the Dignity Operation and supporting bodies, he is a prominent political and social figure for many Dignity Operation supporters, his posture, putting himself in danger, rejection to grab the opportunity and leave fighting area to defense stranded civilians, and get killed in an air raid, means putting the Dignity Operation supporters in a stricter corner.
The death of Omar Ashkal in an air raid, following his resistance and stand in the face of oppression against civilians he lived with for weeks and months, is an extra impasse for the Dignity Operation that hadn’t put into consideration the humanitarian sides, but instead was deeply involved in violence in a clear way for the near and far.
Senussi Bsaikri – A Libyan Writer
The article is translated from Arabic by LIBYAPROSEC