UN commissioned experts called for Libyan commander, Khalifa Haftar’s forces to cease evicting residents and destroying their homes in the city of Benghazi, reports The New Arab and agencies, September 5.
Mr Haftar, who holds US citizenship, has been the LNA’s commander since March 2015 after being appointed by the Libyan House of Representatives.
The Libyan National Army’s (LNA) forces are evicting residents to make way for a building project, according to reports.
Benghazi is in the east of Libya, around 1000 km away from the capital, Tripoli, located in the northwest.
Libya, which has seen two civil wars in just over a decade, has two rival administrations in the east and west.
The United Nations’ experts noted in a statement that since March of this year, the LNA has removed more than 20,000 people from their houses with little to no notice.
With regards to the demolitions in Benghazi, the experts said, “The intentional demolitions, including of historic neighborhoods, protected heritage sites and many residential units, have already caused irreparable harm to the urban architecture and living heritage of the city.”
As well as being evicted and having their accommodation demolished, the LNA did not give tenants any compensation for those affected. It is believed that those protesting the evictions are threatened with violence and/or power cuts.
Among the buildings demolished were Italian style buildings, built during the North African country’s occupation by Italy.
Italy’s colonisation of Libya lasted for over thirty years, beginning in 1911 and ending in 1943 when the country became under allied rule.
A spokesperson for Libya’s National Army is yet to comment on the matter.
THE NEW ARAB