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UN Report Says Libyan Government, Rebels Both Guilty Of War Crimes

A UN report on the Libya conflict says war crimes have been committed on both sides.
A commission established by the UN Human Rights Council has said in a report released on June 1 that forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and rebels opposing them are both guilty of committing war crimes.

The commission was formed in February after Qaddafi's military attacked civilians. The commission's report "reached the conclusion that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed by government forces of Libya."

It continued that there were "fewer reports of facts which would amount to the commission of crimes by opposition forces, however [the commission] did find some acts which would constitute war crimes."

The Human Rights Council is due to consider the report on June 6.

Oil Chief Defects

Meanwhile, in related news, Italian media reports quote Libyan oil chief Shukri Ghanem as saying he had defected and now supports the rebels, in a major blow to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

The ANSA news agency quoted Ghanem as saying in Rome on June 1 that he had left the regime two weeks ago and arrived in Rome on May 31.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said it had no comment on the report.

For several weeks, Libyan officials had insisted Ghanem, who as head of the National Oil Corporation serves as Libya's oil minister, was on a business trip.

As recently as last week, Libya's foreign ministry said he would represent the Qaddafi government at a June 8 OPEC meeting in Vienna.

compiled from agency reports