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Libya agrees to consider humanitarian laws during military operations

Libyan armed forces on Tuesday signed [press release] an agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] affirming that the country will consider international humanitarian laws during military operations. Under the memorandum, which was signed at the Libyan military headquarters in Tripoli, the ICRC is expected to provide information and support to the country's military forces in how to integrate international humanitarian laws in the training and operation of the armed forces. The ICRC will also provide legal advice in developing the country's Military Act to make it comply with the international legal standard.

Libya is still attempting to recover from the effects of its months-long conflict [JURIST backgrounder] and the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime. The country is still facing criticism for numerous human rights violations. In addition, international focus was recently drawn to the country through the recent detention of four staff members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Last week a spokesperson for the Libyan government told reporters that the government has begun interrogations [JURIST report] of the ICC staff members who have been accused of having broken the country's law. The Libyan government has ignored the demand [JURIST report] made by the UN Security Council [official website] for the immediate release of the staff members. The council has noted that the country has a legal obligation under Resolution 1970 (2011) [text, PDF] to "cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor." The presidents of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official websites] have joined [JURIST report] the calls for the release of the staff members.

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