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Libya: Civilian casualties in Tripoli, NATO investigation

01. April 2011. | 07:52

Source: ANSAmed

Nato will open an investigation to ascertain his potential responsibility for the death of at least 40 civilians in Tripoli allegedly caused by the international coalition's air raids.

Nato will open an investigation to ascertain his potential responsibility for the death of at least 40 civilians in Tripoli allegedly caused by the international coalition's air raids.

On the first day of Nato's full command of all military operations in Libya (the handover to "Unified Protector" was finalised at 8am this morning), the nightmare of 'collateral damage', in other words the innocent casualties of military targets, is casting its shadow on the Nato mission.

The vicar apostolic of Tripoli, mons. Giovanni Martinelli, reported that the coalition raids ''caused dozens of casualties among the civilian population" in certain areas of Tripoli. Charles Bouchard, the 55-year-old Canadian general in charge of all military operations from the Naples Nato headquarters, stated during his meeting with the press on the first day with full powers that

''We are aware of the news reports and we are taking them into serious consideration. We will open an investigation into the chain of command to see whether there is any proof. We will do what we can to determine if something happened''. Asked for further details, Bouchard stated that ''We will investigate to see whether Nato forces were involved or not".

According to mons. Martinelli the raids hit in particular a civilian residence in Tripoli's Buslim neighbourhood and, albeit indirectly, also a few hospitals outside the capital city.

The bombing allegedly occurred when operations were being led by the coalition of the willing, under the leadership of USA, France and Great Britain. Not being able to rule out a potential involvement, Bouchard pointed out that Nato gained ''control of all military operations in Libya only this morning at 08:00", with the objective of protecting all civilians from any attacks and threatened attacks, and that the mission ''has very strict rules of engagement".

At present Unified Protector can rely on more than 100 fighter and support aircraft and more than a dozen naval units and submarines. The Nato member States that provide military resources are at least 20.

"But all the 28 allies contribute in a different way to the mission, which is also joined by non-Nato countries, while others showed interest", stated Giampaolo Di Paola, president of the Nato military committee. The mandate for the mission is 'strictly' defined by UN resolution 1973, and this means that ''the Alliance will not arm the rebels'', stated the admiral.

Nato will fully enforce the weapons embargo, therefore blocking all ships loaded with weapons or mercenaries moving towards Libya, including those run by member States.

Even the protection and defence of civilians will be carried out in a neutral fashion. Di Paola guaranteed that ''We will take care of all the civilians''. In theory Nato could attack the rebels should they pose a hazard for the people. ''But it is a fact that up to now the attacks on civilians are being carried out by Gaddafi's regime'', stated the high ranking officer.


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04. April 2011. 19:36:00

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mass murder against civilians


29. August - 04. September 2011.