UN Report Uncovers Mass Grave of Migrants at Libya-Tunisia Border

A United Nations human rights report has uncovered a mass grave of African migrants at the Libya-Tunisia border.

On Tuesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türkon stated that his office is investigating reports of a mass grave in the desert along the Libya-Tunisia border. This follows the discovery of at least 65 migrant bodies at another site earlier this year.

Türkon condemned the widespread violations against migrants and refugees in Libya, who traverse the Sahara Desert and the southern Mediterranean. He highlighted the rampant abuses committed with impunity by both state and non-state actors, including human trafficking, torture, forced labor, extortion, starvation, detention, and mass expulsions.

“I urge the authorities to respond swiftly to our inquiries and to investigate these crimes fully,” Türkon told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, addressing Libya’s human rights record over the past year and noting “disturbing developments.”

Libya’s Justice Minister, Halima Ibrahim Abdulrahman, reiterated her country’s commitment to human rights but did not directly address Türkon’s comments on the mass graves. “Libya gives special importance to the rights of refugees,” she told the council, adding that some of Türkon’s points were “not in line with reality.”

Libya and Tunisia are crucial partners in the European Union’s efforts to curb the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean from North Africa to southern Europe.

Previously, a UN fact-finding mission on Libya found evidence suggesting crimes against humanity, such as torture, had been committed against migrants. In March, the UN International Organization for Migration reported the discovery of 65 migrant bodies at a mass grave site in southwest Libya’s Al-Jahriya valley.

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