Alleged Libyan war-criminal holds private talks in Paris and Rome

Alleged Libyan war-criminal holds private talks in Paris and Rome
Khalifa Haftar has been accused of personally ordering attacks on civilians, having enforced a 'starve or kneel' policy in the two-year siege of Benghazi.
2 min read
28 September, 2017
Haftar received a special welcome in Rome [Facebook]

East Libya's renegade General Haftar concluded a trip to Paris and Rome on Thursday, as the UN representative for Libya announced his plans for peace in the North African country.

Haftar held private meetings with the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yvres Le Drian, in Paris on Thursday, having met with Italian officials in Rome the day previous.

"We are not going to propose anything again to Haftar, we want to send him the message that he must respect his commitments and the mediation of the UN," a statement from the French government said.

The General's low-key European visits were made all the more controversial following a series of accusations he personally ordered war crimes.

UN officials heard on Tuesday how Haftar's forces had allegedly ordered direct airstrikes against civilians at a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

Video footage has also emerged of Haftar's Libyan National Army [LNA] carrying out extrajudicial executions of alleged Islamic State members.

Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a senior LNA general who is currently wanted under an International Criminal Court warrant, allegedly ordered the executions personally.

The New Arab could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Haftar's LNA have been engaged in a near two-year battle against East Libya's Islamist militias, having recently celebrated a victory in the 'liberation' of Benghazi.

Read more: Haftar's forces celebrate Benghazi victory by 'parading Islamists' corpses'

Hundreds of civilians were evacuated from the Ganfouda neighbourhood of Benghazi in March, having been deprived of food and water for weeks.

Haftar does not recognise the authority of the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in the capital Tripoli, instead backing an alternate Tobruk-based administration set up in the country's east. He steadily recently emerged as a key player in Libya however, and is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates among other foreign powers.