The Scretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg expressed Tuesday the bloc’s support for the United Nation’s call for an independent investigation to be launched about mass graves found in areas liberated from Khalifa Haftar’s forces in Libya.
“The situation in Libya continues to be very dangerous. I am deeply concerned about the reports on mass graves and support the UN’s call for an investigation on them,” Stoltenberg said.
Speaking in Brussels before the video meeting of NATO defense ministers, he also touched upon Russia’s presence and activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in Libya and Syria.
Expressing his concerns about Russia’s increasing influence in the region, Stoltenberg said NATO backs the UN-led peace initiatives in Libya.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep shock last week at the discovery of mass graves in Libya and called for a transparent investigation.
Guterres also called on Libya’s UN-supported GNA to secure the mass graves, identify the victims, establish the causes of death and return the bodies to next of kin.
He offered UN support in carrying it out, according to the UN Secretary General’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.
Libyan GNA authorities unearthed at least 11 mass graves, mostly in Tarhouna, a key western town that served as the main stronghold for Haftar’s forces in their 14-month campaign to capture the capital Tripoli.
The discoveries have raised fears about the extent of human rights violations in territories controlled by Haftar’s forces.
The GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said that authorities were documenting evidence of Haftar’s war crimes in Tarhouna, noting that preliminary reports indicated dozens of victims found in the city’s mass graves had been buried alive.