Libya's UN-backed government welcomes U.S. sanctions on senior official of east-based army

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-11 13:20:18|Editor: zh
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TRIPOLI, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Interior Minister of the UN-backed government of Libya Fathi Bashagha on Tuesday welcomed the U.S. Treasury Department's decision to impose sanctions on senior commander of the east-based rebel army Mahmoud al-Werfalli.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday announced imposing sanctions on al-Warfalli for committing "serious human rights abuse."

"Since 2016, al-Warfalli has carried out or ordered the killings of 43 unarmed detainees in eight separate incidents. Many of these killings were filmed and published on social media," said the department.

Al-Werfalli is a general in the special forces attached to the east-based army which is led by General Khalifa Haftar and controls Libya's northeastern city of Benghazi.

In August 2017, the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is based in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant for al-Werfalli and demanded his extradition over suspicion of committing war crimes in eastern Libya.

Immediately after the warrant was issued, the army announced that al-Werfalli was under arrest and being investigated, although his whereabouts were unknown.

In February, al-Werfalli announced that he would surrender himself to the army's military police.

The ICC issued a second arrest for al-Werfalli in July.

The east-based army has been leading a military campaign in and around Tripoli since early April, attempting to take over the city and topple the UN-backed government.

The armed conflicts have injured and killed thousands of people, and displaced nearly 120,000 civilians.

A few days ago, Fayez Serraj, prime minister of the UN-backed Libyan government, said there would be no cease-fire without the withdrawal of the east-based army from western Libya.