African Union condemns air strike on Libyan detention centre

Wednesday July 3 2019

Tajoura Detention Centre

Emergency workers arrive at the scene were an airstrike killed nearly 40 at Tajoura Detention Centre, east of Tripoli on early July 3, 2019. PHOTO | MAHMUD TURKIA | AFP 

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The African Union (AU) Wednesday condemned an air strike on a detention centre in Libya that killed nearly 40 migrants and demanded those responsible for the "horrific crime" be held to account.

In a statement, the chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called for "an independent investigation to be conducted to ensure that those responsible for this horrific crime of innocent civilians, be brought to account".

"The Chairperson reiterates his call for an immediate ceasefire, and for all parties to ensure the protection and safety of all civilians, especially the migrants trapped in detention centres," the AU statement added, calling on the international community to "redouble efforts" to bring the warring parties to the negotiation table.

The direct hit on the detention facility housing 120 migrants in a Tripoli suburb has been blamed on Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of eastern and southern Libya.

He has been trying for three months to seize the Libyan capital.

The internationally recognised national unity government based in Tripoli accused pro-Haftar forces of having carried out a "premeditated" and "precise" attack on the migrant centre at Tajoura.


No one has so far claimed responsibility.