Khalifa Haftar

06.06.2018 ( Last modified: 15.07.2020 )
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Born on 7 November 1943, Khaalifa Belqasim Haftar is the commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army (ANL) since 2015. He is considered to be one of the leader of eastern Libya.

In 2011, Haftar supported the Libyan insurgency against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi and took command of the rebel army. In 2014, while the Libyan state is fragmented between many groups he creates his own armed force. On 18 May, the militia he leads attacks the Parliament and Islamists in Benghazi. On 2 March 2015, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the non-internationally recognized ANL, which has since fought on Libyan territory despite the peace process following the agreement and the ceasefire adopted in July 2017.


Legal procedure

On 18 April 2018, a first complaint has been filed against Khalifa Haftar before the specialized unit for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture within the Paris High Court (hereafter the specialized unit) by an anonymous plaintiff. The plaintiff’s lawyer stated that alleged facts took place in 2014, during the “Dignity” operation in Benghazi. There, members of the plaintiff’s family were attacked and murdered. Afterward, he was detained and tortured for three weeks on which he or she lost an eye.

On 26 April 2018, a second complaint for acts of torture and barbarity was filed against Haftar before the war crimes unit of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris. These complaints have been made possible on the basis of universal jurisdiction by the presence of Haftar on French soil for medical reasons.

Ali Hamza, a Libyan resident in Canada who filed the complaint, is seeking an investigation into alleged crimes committed by the ANL during the siege of Benghazi between 2016 and March 2017, during which his mother and four of his brothers and sisters lost their lives.

Haftar returned to Libya following the filing of the complaints.



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