NATO Strike Aftermath in Libya

72 deaths, most of them were not adults. Not a word. Houses wiped out by the blow of the BDU12 bombs dropped by the « surgical war »’s F-16s. Three years now after the end of the revolution, the civilian survivors of NATO strikes are still waiting for an explanation, an inquiry, compensations, to rebuild their homes. During the « Unified protector » operation, aiming to protect the Libyan civilians, NATO did 9700 missions and launched 7700 bombs on Libya. According to the 1983 resolution of UNO, NATO should have targeted only military objectives. Though in those houses in Majer, Zliten and Tripoli, we only found one military style fatigue, also a very common dress code for young revolutionnary guys at that time, and a lot of pictures of martyrs, mostly women and kids. Despite the request of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya, the new libyan government did not carry out an investigation on the civilian victims of the NATO strikes and the Organisation qualifies these victims as «  collateral damage  » without further due. NATO acknowledged only one of these strikes as a «  mistake  », in fact we can discover, around these destroyed houses, in the neighborhood, in some suburb houses, what could be Gaddafi’s secret services compounds. Finding old worksheets, iron doors and cells, all premisses vacated in the hours following the attacks. If some of the strikes seem to be precision mistakes, some others are still a mystery that NATO is not ready to solve. In Majer, 160 km from Tripoli, three farms bording the desert were sheltering refugees running from the fighting front. 33 victims. Around those, fields, and a football playground. No sight of military premisses or any concrete building of any kind. Nowadays, the 4 walls remaining are full with victims portraits and pictures of the night of horrors. That night, those three farms were striked repeatedly, killing also the help coming for the first victims.

Victims of what we call the «  surgical war  », the men still standing, have lost their wives, children and sisters, they gathered for a suit against NATO itself in Belgium, helped by european lawyers. But as the Organisation can’t be held criminally responsible, and no countries of the Alliance is directly and alone linked to these strikes, those attempts will never be carried on. Which lets the belligerents free from any kind of recognition of their mistakes or compensation for the lost civilian lives and for the survivors to rebuild their homes.

A photography project by Mélanie Wenger.


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