Libya’s civilian casualties: two months later – a call not yet heeded?

News from Dr Ian Davis of Nato Watch

  

 

Call for recording of casualties in the Libyan Conflict 

.

To:  The President of the UN Security Council

UN Ambassadors of States within the Security Council

Governments represented on the UN Security Council

Governments of Coalition forces involved in Libya

The Secretary General of the United Nations

The Secretary General of the Arab League

The Chairman of the African Union Commission

.

We, the undersigned organisations, call on all parties to the armed conflict in Libya that, along with exercising every possible restraint in their conduct of military operations, they commit to recording and reporting on the civilian casualties of conflict from military operations in that country. 

We define this as the immediate and comprehensive monitoring and documentation of all civilian casualties – whether children, women, or men who have been killed, injured, displaced, or who are missing. Monitoring should be done using all means presently available and be followed-up by full on-the-ground, incident-level investigations as soon as is feasible. We further urge that the mechanisms employed be transparent and open to public scrutiny, in particular to Libyans. 

As a key element of humanitarian protection obligations, as well as the accountability that underpins good governance, whether by domestic parties to conflict or international state actors, it is of the utmost importance that civilian casualties are carefully and conscientiously monitored in any military action. This remains equally true when military intervention is proposed to protect civilians from further harm. Credible information on the nature and extent of civilian casualties is a crucial means by which to guide and to assess the efficacy of such interventions, including any operational precautions taken to minimise harm to civilians. 

The UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya passed on the 17th of March 2011 expresses “grave concern” at “heavy civilian casualties” in that country, asserts that its purpose is the protection of civilians, and demands a “complete end” to violence against them. Given its objectives and its implementation, SC Resolution 1973, by its own terms, requires a full and thorough investigation of its consequences for civilians . . . 

Link to pdf giving the complete text and references here. 

Signatories 

Seb Taylor – Director , Action On Armed Violence, UK 

Ajmal Samadi – Director, Afghanistan Rights Monitor, Afghanistan 

Sarah Holewinski – Executive Director, Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, USA 

Jorge A. Restrepo – Director, Conflict Analysis Resource Center, Colombia 

Igor Roginek – Human Losses Research Coordinator, Documenta, Croatia 

Fredy Peccerelli – Executive Director, Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, Guatemala 

Dr. Ghassan Elkahlout – Chief Executive Officer, Human Relief Foundation 

Ucha Nanuashvili – Executive Director, Human Rights Center, Georgia 

Tom Malinowski – Washington Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch, USA 

Hamit Dardagan – Co-Founder, Iraq Body Count, UK 

Phil ya Nangoloh – Executive Director, NamRights, Nambia 

Dr. Ian Davis – Director, NATO Watch, UK 

Chris Langdon – Managing Director, Oxford Research Group, UK 

Mirsad Tokača – President Managing Board, Research and Documentation Center, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Abdullahi Sheikh Abukar – Executive Director, Somali Human Rights Association, Somalia

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