Report finds "little regard" for civilian life in Libya

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A girl looks out of her house window in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL (file)

All sides in Libya appear to be committing violations of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, according to a UN report published on Monday.

The report documents indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, abductions, torture and executions, and other serious abuses.

The report says civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence, instability and political division that has plagued Libya since the overthrow of former President Muammar al-Qhadafi in 2011.

Dianne Penn reports.

Libya's warring parties have shown "little regard for avoiding or minimizing loss of civilian life," according to the report.

The violence has caused hundreds of deaths as well as mass displacement and humanitarian crises in several regions of the country.

Rival groups have also looted, burned or destroyed homes and other property, reportedly as political retaliation.

The report states that: "All parties in Libya 'appear to be committing violations of international humanitarian law including those that may amount to war crimes' as well as 'gross violations or abuses of international human rights law.'"

Meanwhile, the breakdown in law and order has allowed groups that have pledged allegiance to the terrorist group ISIL to gain control over territory.

The report was published jointly by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR), and covers the period from January to October of this year.

It warns that abuses and violence will continue unless there is a political settlement in Libya that is based on respect for human rights and rule of law.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'08"

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