Norway may compensate civilian casualties in Libya

Bookmark and Share

Norwegian fighter jets were among the most active during last year’s NATO strike on Libya, and NATO is under rising pressure to recognize and offer compensation for civilian casualties. Norway may go along with any demands posed by Libyan authorities.

Norway's F16 fighter jets were active over Libya last year. PHOTO: Forsvaret/Lars Magne Hovtun

“There’s no obligation to pay compensation and there are good reasons for that,” Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “But if there are concrete, individual cases that are put forward by Libyan authorities, it’s certainly possible to take a look at them.”

Eide stressed that NATO has no plans to pay any such compensation. Jan Egeland, a former Norwegian diplomat who now serves as European director for Human Rights Watch, was nonetheless encouraged.

“It’s good that they (Norwegian authorities) now open up for this, but NATO shouldn’t wait for claims by Libyan authorities,” Egeland told NRK. “They must investigate this themselves.”

Human Rights Watch has strongly criticized NATO for failing to investigate civilian casualties during the bombing attacks on Libya last year. The organization claims 72 civilians were killed in eight separate attacks.

Views and News staff