The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor requested help from the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to arrest three fugitives in Libya, including military strongman Khalifa Haftar and a son of the late leader Moamer Kadhafi.
During a UN Security Council meeting, Fatou Bensouda noted that ICC investigators had traveled to Libya in March for the first time since June 2012 to help advance investigations on alleged war crimes.
“I repeat my call to this council to engage with my office and lend your support in assisting with strategies for the arrest and surrender of ICC fugitives in Libya,” she said about the fugitives.
“Greater deterrence can only be assured through the arrest and surrender of suspects to the ICC so that they may answer the charges against them.”
The prosecutor warned she “will not hesitate” to request new arrest warrants to hold the suspects responsible.
Among those targeted is Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, whose whereabouts have been unknown since June 2014. Bensouda said she was unsure whether he was being held.
Warrants are also out for the arrests of former security chief Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, accused of war crimes committed in 2011, and Busayf Al-Werfalli, a commander of the Al-Saiqa brigade wanted for the cold-blooded execution of 33 people and other war crimes.
Werfalli has been accused of more crimes since an August 2017 arrest warrant against him, according to Bensouda.
Bensouda has appealed directly to Haftar to ensure Werfalli’s arrest.
Libya has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed its longtime dictator Kadhafi, with two rival authorities vying for control.
Haftar supports an administration based in the east of the country. A UN-backed unity government based in the capital has struggled to assert its authority outside the west.
Werfalli’s “immediate arrest and surrender is now more important than ever,” Bensouda said.
In addition to accountability, his arrest would “send a clear message to would-be perpetrators that such reprehensible crimes will not be tolerated and that there will be real consequences for the commission of such crimes,” the prosecutor added.