Geneva Call’s Director of Operations, Hichem Khadhraoui, visited Benghazi and Tripoli in May 2019, meeting with a variety of interlocutors including the Mayors of Tripoli, Yafren and Benghazi. This was an opportunity for Geneva Call to strengthen its presence and work in both the East and West of Libya as well as to stress the importance for armed actors to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Mr. Khadhraoui led sessions where Geneva Call’s work and the main rules of IHL were presented to a wide panel of participants. He highlighted the importance of disseminating IHL to armed actors, civil society and local authorities, particularly at this crucial time, while a military offensive is going on.
On 29 May, an event around IHL norms and the work of Geneva Call was co-organised by Geneva Call and the Libyan Programme for Reintegration and Development with 50 participants from the joint operations room, commanders of the forces in the western region, Ministry officials of the interim Government of National Accord, representatives of the municipality of Tripoli, and staff of the Civil Society Commission (CSC) Tripoli office.
This follows a similar event held with the Libyan Red Crescent at the International University campus in Benghazi on 9 May in the presence of the Minister of Interior of the “Libyan interim government”, the Dean of the Faculty of Law of Benghazi University, the Islamic Committee of the International Crescent (ICIC), the Libyan Organisation for Publishing-IHL, representatives of armed actors (LNA air force officers) and law students from Benghazi University.
The participants stated that the work of Geneva Call with armed actors in Libya is very much needed and that all of them are willing to work and partner with Geneva Call on IHL activities with armed stakeholders in Libya.
Geneva Call has been working in Libya since 2017, establishing a relationship of trust with Libyan armed actors, training civil society organisations and running several “Fighter not Killer” media campaigns on the rules of war.