Soldiers from the self-styled army of Libyan Strongman Khalifa Haftar take part in a military parade in the eastern city of Benghazi on May 7, 2018, during which Haftar announced a military offensive to take from "terrorists" the city of Derna, the only part of eastern Libya outside his forces' control. / AFP PHOTO / Abdullah DOMA
Soldiers from the Libyan National Army take part in a military parade in Benghazi city on May 7, 2018. AFP

Libyan soldier wanted by ICC gains freedom



A Libyan commander accused of summary executions was released from military-enforced house arrest on Thursday, the same day the International Criminal Court issued a second warrant against him.

Mahmoud Warfalli, an officer in the Libyan National Army (LNA), is accused of executing dozens of alleged extremist militants over the course of a year and a half. The ICC issued the first warrant against him in August last year over seven incidents in which 33 people were killed.

The LNA has been accused of failing to act on the arrest warrant and curb Mr Warfalli's behaviour. Yet it is now understood that Mr Warfalli had been kept under house arrest at the LNA’s Rajma base near its main stronghold of Benghazi.

A close relative said that Mr Warfalli was released on Thursday following talks with the LNA command, contradicting rumours that he had escaped.

Mr Warfalli has appeared in eight videos where he appears to either order or carry out the execution of captives. One video widely circulated on social media appears to show him executing 10 prisoners in front of the Biyat Al Radwan mosque in Benghazi on January 24, a day after a car bombing outside the mosque killed dozens of people. Mr Warfalli was a frequent visitor to the mosque.

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Mr Warfalli divides opinion like almost no one else in Libya. To some, he is seen as a hero who led the fight against terrorism in eastern Libya. His supporters say the men he is accused of executing were ISIS or Al Qaeda and their killing was therefore justifiable.

Mr Warfalli’s opponents accuse him of using the same tactics as the extremists he seeks to rid Libya of. In the prelude to his apparent execution videos he often quotes the Quran as justification for his actions.

As commander in the LNA's special forces or Saiqahe is regarded as one of its strongest fighters and has widespread support within the division. He is also a member of Libya's largest tribe, the Warfalla, and, as such, has a great deal of support from them too.

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Based: Dubai
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ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

In Full Flight: A Story of Africa and Atonement
John Heminway, Knopff

Aayan’s records

Youngest UAE men’s cricketer
When he debuted against Bangladesh aged 16 years and 314 days, he became the youngest ever to play for the men’s senior team. He broke the record set by his World Cup squad-mate, Alishan Sharafu, of 17 years and 44 days.

Youngest wicket-taker
After taking the wicket of Bangladesh’s Litton Das on debut in Dubai, Aayan became the youngest male cricketer to take a wicket against a Full Member nation in a T20 international.

Youngest in T20 World Cup history?
Aayan does not turn 17 until November 15 – which is two days after the T20 World Cup final at the MCG. If he does play in the competition, he will be its youngest ever player. Pakistan’s Mohammed Amir, who was 17 years and 55 days when he played in 2009, currently holds the record.

The National Archives, Abu Dhabi

Founded over 50 years ago, the National Archives collects valuable historical material relating to the UAE, and is the oldest and richest archive relating to the Arabian Gulf.

Much of the material can be viewed on line at the Arabian Gulf Digital Archive - https://www.agda.ae/en

The biog

Nickname: Mama Nadia to children, staff and parents

Education: Bachelors degree in English Literature with Social work from UAE University

As a child: Kept sweets on the window sill for workers, set aside money to pay for education of needy families

Holidays: Spends most of her days off at Senses often with her family who describe the centre as part of their life too