On Nov. 10, 2017, 28 people were found shot dead southwest of the Libyan capital in Wershafana area. Among the victims were soldiers from the Libyan National Army, one of the main regimes competing for power in the country.
The National Human Rights Commission in Libya called on the Libyan authorities to investigate the massacre. The commission claimed the killings occurred after troops from the Government of National Accord — the LNA’s rival — stormed the Wershafana area.
Some of the bodies reportedly showed signs of torture.
Fourteen bodies were moved to Al Sbiah hospital in the south of Tripoli, while the rest of the bodies were taken to a hospital in nearby Tarhuna. The commission said 14 of the victims were fighters from non-government forces. That was probably a reference to the 4th Brigade of Wershafana. On Nov. 1, 2017, the 4th Brigade came under by troops loyal to Zintan-based commander Osama Al Juwaili.
The GNA has allegedly carried out mass-killings in the past. On May 18, 2017, the GNA’s Third Force reportedly murdered 134 LNA fighters and civilians at Birak Al Shati air base 80 kilometers north of Al Sebha.
There have been at least two other killings in eastern Libya recently. On Oct. 26, 2017, a mass grave containing 36 bodies was discovered in the district of Al Abyar around 50 kilometers east of Benghazi.
“The bodies were reportedly handcuffed, showed signs of torture and displayed bullet wounds to the head,” the International Criminal Court reported. The ICC has a warrant out for LNA major Mahmoud Al Warfali for alleged war crimes. The LNA claimed it arrested the major on Aug. 2, 2017.
Another massacre took place in Derna on Oct. 30 and 31 when the Egyptian air force carried out air strikes on suspected militants trying to cross the Egypt-Libya border. The air raid left at least 20 civilians dead and injured another 23.
These war crimes unfold as Islamic State begins to resurface across Libya. With the GNA and LNA busy slaughtering each other, there’s little chance they’ll be able to work together to fight their common foe ISIS.
Arnaud Delalande is a French analyst, author and journalist specialised in military aviation.