Lawsuit against US Africa Command upon accusations of killing 11 civilians in Libya
The US-based website, The Intercept, said a brother of one of the Libyan 11 civilians said to be killed by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) in November 2018, along with a spokesperson for the victim's ethnic Tuareg community and representatives of three nongovernmental organizations, filed a criminal complaint against the former Italian commander at the U.S. air base in Sigonella, Sicily, seeking accountability for his role in the killings.
The Intercept said they had asked the public prosecutor’s office in Siracusa, where the base is located, to investigate and prosecute Col. Gianluca Chiriatti and other Italian officials involved in the attack for murder.
The Intercept reported Madogaz Musa Abdullah, the brother of one of the victims, said AFRICOM killed 11 people on the basis that they were terrorists, but those young men were completely against terrorism, adding that they were killed without evidence and challenging AFRICOM to produce evidence that even one of them was on a US target list.
“Death is a fact that we cannot deny but the injustice of eleven people being killed, accused of terrorism despite the fact they were innocent, affected us deeply especially when we had to bury them in a common grave,” said Abdullah, in a sworn statement accompanying the complaint.
He added that the hospitals refusing to issue death certificates impacted the families of the victims psychologically, especially the mothers and fathers of the victims.
“We are aware of the reports of civilian casualties from this strike,” AFRICOM spokesperson Kelly Cahalan told The Intercept, adding that US Africa Command followed the civilian casualty assessment process in place at the time and determined that the reports were unsubstantiated.