UN demands all countries enforce UN arms embargo on Libya

16.09.2020

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Tuesday demanding that all countries enforce the widely violated UN arms embargo on Libya and withdraw all mercenaries from the North African nation.

The council also called for political talks and a cease-fire in the war, stressing it has no military solution. The vote was 13-0, with Russia and China abstaining.

In the years after the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libya has sunk further into turmoil and is now divided between two rival administrations, based in the country's east and west, with an array of fighters and militias – backed by various foreign powers – allied with each side.

The resolution's approval follows a recent report by UN experts monitoring sanctions on Libya that accused its warring parties and their international backers – the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Jordan on one side and Turkey and Qatar on the other – of violating the arms embargo, saying it remains "totally ineffective".

The resolution also extended UN's political mission in Libya, or UNSMIL, until next September and stressed its "central role in facilitating a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned inclusive political process and in achieving a lasting cease-fire."

The job of former UN special representative Ghassan Salame, who resigned in March, has been split into two, as the United States demanded, putting a special envoy in charge of UNSMIL to focus on mediating with Libyan and international parties to end the conflict, with a coordinator in charge of day-to-day operations.

The US demand held up a replacement for Salame and the resolution asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy "without delay". One possibility is the UN's current top Mideast envoy, Nikolay Mladenov, a former Bulgarian foreign minister, UN diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private. (AP)

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