Libya: Spate of Kidnappings Escalating in Libya

Tripoli — REBEL groups have unleashed a spate of abductions and perpetrated enforced disappearances as processes to restore peace fail in the war-torn Libya.

The violations are rife across towns and cities of the North African country.

Civilians, civil society activists, journalists, migrants and state officials are the victims of the infringements blamed on the 9th Brigade, Libyan National Army (LNA), Nawasi and Special Deterrence Force (SDF) rebel movements.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed concern at the prevalence of the violent crimes by the aggressive groups rendering the country ungovernable.

Last year, rebel groups abducted a mayor of the Qasser Bin Ghasheir municipality from his office and kidnapped a legislator from her home in Benghazi

Last month, the LNA forces abducted a lawyer from the Budizira area in Benghazi, reportedly for publishing an anti-LNA video on social media.

He has been detained at the military wing of al-Kuweifya prison, in the city.

SDF abducted an executive of the Afriqiyah Airlines on March 1.

He was released on March 5 but abducted again two days later by the same group.

On 2 March, armed men from the LNA arrested a manager of a hospital from his home at al-Sahil al-Shargi.

An armed group also kidnapped an engineer.

The whereabouts of the victims are unknown.

The UN mission reiterated the perpetrators would be prosecuted.

"UNSMIL recalls that torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings are a violation of international law," said a spokesperson.

The UN Mission has appeared hapless in the crises that have beset Libya since 2011 when Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and eventually murdered during civilian unrest sponsored by America-French led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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