United Nations A/hrc/19/68

C. Military Forces and Structures

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C. Military Forces and Structures

  1. The Commission has gathered information on military forces and structures of the Qadhafi Government and thuwar to obtain a better understanding of the armed forces involved during the conflict, and to be able to identify specific military or security units involved in specific incidents constituting violations. In many instances, the Commission has been able to obtain information on the commanders of specific military or security units allegedly involved in violations, and thereby to assign responsibility to senior military officers based on their command and control of those under their supervision. In other instances, victims and witnesses interviewed by the Commission were unable to identify either individuals or the entities allegedly responsible for the atrocities. The information on the various military or security units in this section will also provide a better understanding of the information presented in the report on different violations.

    1. Qadhafi Forces

  2. The security arrangements in Libya under the Qadhafi Government were complex with multiple entities empowered to use force, command structures difficult to ascertain and apparently little or no lateral command communication between the different security agencies. The Commission noted a number of different structures operating in different capacities at different times and at different places. The description below of the Qadhafi Government security forces is based on the Commission’s examination of the situation on the ground, secondary sources and a number of interviews carried out with reliable sources during the Commission’s visits.

  3. With the Qadhafi Government’s control of the judiciary, the security forces benefited from complete impunity. The various arms of the security forces therefore exercised sweeping powers with no requirement for accountability.

  4. Military Forces: The Qadhafi Government’s military was comprised of an army, an air force and a navy. In 2004, the armed forces were believed to have 116,000 active personnel.62 In recent years, the regular armed forces had reportedly been marginalized and not involved in internal security operations, although Military Intelligence held formidable sway.63 Whilst there was a hierarchy within the army, other factors such as tribal membership and known loyalty to the Revolution appeared to play an important role in the level of responsibility accorded to individuals within the military.

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