UN demands all countries enforce arms embargo on Libya


September 17, 2020


The UN Security Council also called for political talks and a cease-fire in the war, stressing it has no military solution

Troops loyal to the Tripoli government prepare their weapon as they carry out patrols in Zamzam, near Abu Qareen, Libya. PHOTO: REUTERS




NEW YORK – The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Tuesday demanding that all countries enforce the widely violated UN arms embargo on Libya, 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 longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi, 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 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 US 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.

Leave a Reply