UAE’s Veiled Acts in Libya Expose the Real Emirates

UAE in Libya war is a reality behind the scenes, while the on-stage violence has been leaving the global audience traumatized. Providing military assistance to the military commander of LNA, the Emirates is believed to be the most powerful foreign player in the North African nation.

An airstrike in a migrant detention center last year – recorded as one of the deadliest attacks from the beginning of the Libyan civil war – was recently exposed with all the not-much-known facts. On Monday, the United Nations released a 13-page-report revealing that the actions of compound officials during the attack could possibly have contributed to a high death toll.

The responsibility of the attack into the Tajoura detention facility was borne by the UAE-backed Khalifa Haftar. However, the assault had more to it, where several violations were from the warring Libyan militias’ end.

According to the report, the militias allied with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), who run the center, put the civilian refugees “in grave danger” in various ways.

Although the July attack was not attributed to any country, the suspicion fell on the UAE for Libya’s major civilian attack, which killed at least 50 people. The Emirates came under doubts as it owns a fleet of Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets, which are capable of operating at night as well as deliver precision-guided military weapons and missiles.

The detention facility became a prime target of the attack by opposition forces, primarily because it sat in a military complex beside an ammunition depot. In addition to that, the guards made the impact severe by preventing detainees from escaping the center, after the first airstrike that bombed nearby weapons depot last year.

The UN report revealed that there are reasons to believe that “migrants and refugees could have been saved, and their right to life protected”, if they were not barred from leaving the facility. As the second airstrike directly hit the hangar, the destruction took several lives and wounded hundreds others.

A number of witnesses revealed that the head of the Tajoura detention center burst into the hangar and killed three refugees, as he shot them for trying to escape. The UN report states that at least one guard could be seen trotting out an assault rifle in the surveillance camera video, during the airstrikes.

Meanwhile, the UN report states that the violations of GNA “in no way absolves the party responsible for the airstrike”, which targeted a civilian site listed amongst the well-publicized places that should not be attacked. While the attack was blamed on UAE’s role in Libya, the country dismissed the claims.

The UAE-Libya Civil War Knot

The United Arab Emirates’ presence in Libya is known through several reports, but the Emirati leaders have hardly come out in the front to speak on the issue. The country is backing General Khalifa Haftar, along with Egypt and Russia.

Battling to capture the country, Haftar aims to oust the internationally-recognized GNA under Fayez al-Sarraj from the capital Tripoli. The quest of two sides became a proxy war as several foreign parties got involved. Turkey and Italy, to a lesser extent, stood in support of the UN-backed GNA.

Turkey signed a military cooperation agreement with Tripoli in mid-December, in wake of which Turkish troops were deployed in Libya earlier this month. Besides, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also sent some 2,000 mercenary fighters into Libya from Syria.

The UAE also entered Libya with silent steps and stood behind Haftar, carrying out airstrikes on his behalf and providing planeloads of powerful weapons to spur his advances. Turkish President, Erdogan on Tuesday denounced the rulers of UAE for bankrolling thousands of Russian mercenaries fighting in Libya on behalf of Haftar.

Reports this week also revealed that the Emirates has been deceiving young Sudanese men by hiring them for security guard jobs, and instead putting them in military camps. An Emirati private company, Black Shield Security was alleged of exploiting these men from Sudan as mercenaries and deploying them in Yemen or Libya civil war.

The UAE in Libya war has been protecting their soldiers by keeping these deceived men in the front line. The Libyan Foreign Ministry accused the UAE of impeding the efforts of political settlement of the Libyan crisis.

A human rights violator, diplomatic manipulator and power greedy UAE has been disrupting Libya’s political spectrum. The North African oil-rich nation has been under a crisis since the assassination of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. While the United Nations is attempting to lay solutions to the prolonged crisis in Libya, the country continues to sink in the wells dug by external powers, like the UAE.

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