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World Fewer Libya arms embargo breaches but foreign fighters remain: UN panel

04:16  01 december  2021
04:16  01 december  2021 Source:   afp.com

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United Nations (United States) (AFP) – Fewer violations of the arms embargo on Libya have occurred this year as compared with 2020, but the "continuing presence" of foreign fighters is "still a serious threat," UN experts said in a confidential report. Though the opposing sides in Libya have asked foreign fighters to leave the country, the experts say they are "maintaining foreign fighters among their forces, including nationals from Chad, Sudan and Syria as well as from Russian private military companies." The United Nations has previously estimated that 20,000 mercenaries and

“The arms embargo remains totally ineffective,” said a diplomat with knowledge of a forthcoming annual report by the UN panel of experts on Libya , which is expected to focus on the violations. “In the case of those member states directly supporting the conflict, the violations are extensive, blatant and “The arms embargo in Libya died many years ago,” said Claudia Gazzini, senior analyst on Libya with International Crisis Group. “What changed this year was that the violations of the embargo came out into the open more.” Gazzini said both sides have scaled up the arms flow to the conflict, creating a

Fewer violations of the arms embargo on Libya have occurred this year as compared with 2020, but the "continuing presence" of foreign fighters is "still a serious threat," UN experts said in a confidential report.

Foreign fighters remain a threat to the stability of Libya ahead of the country's presidential elections set for December 24, 2021, a United Nations panel says © Mahmud TURKIA Foreign fighters remain a threat to the stability of Libya ahead of the country's presidential elections set for December 24, 2021, a United Nations panel says

Nonetheless, while the "intense pace of delivery" of banned weapons has abated, "the arms embargo remains totally ineffective," the experts tasked with monitoring the embargo said in an interim confidential report recently given to the Security Council and seen Tuesday by AFP.

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The report said a U . N . arms embargo imposed 10 years ago has remained “totally ineffective,” with “extensive, blatant and with complete disregard for the sanctions measures” by U . N . member states supporting rival sides in Libya . “Their control of the entire supply chain complicates detection It documented dozens of arms shipments, including drones, surface-to-air missiles, artillery pieces and armored vehicles, as well as the deployment of mercenaries — including Russians, Syrians, Sudanese, and Chadians — brought to Libya to bolster its warring sides, especially in Hifter's offensive on Tripoli.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council called on all countries on Monday to implement an arms embargo on Libya and to stay out of the conflict after U . N . sanctions monitors accused Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey of repeated violations. Earlier this year commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) launched an offensive against the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and its forces in Tripoli. But the war has reached an impasse. The U . N . experts accuse Jordan and the United Arab Emirates of supplying

For the study, which covers January to November 2021, the experts traveled twice to the north African country, in April and again in September.

For the first time since 2017, they were able to go to the eastern city of Benghazi, the stronghold of Khalifa Haftar, who is running for president in the election set for December 24.

The elections come as part of a push to end a decade of violence in oil-rich Libya following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

An October 2020 ceasefire brought to an end a fierce year-long battle sparked by Haftar's bid to seize the capital Tripoli.

It also led to a fragile unity government taking office in March, with a mandate to take the country to elections.

But the UN experts, who said they also traveled to France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Tunisia to complete their work, note that the majority of Libya is still controlled by armed groups.

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The arms embargo imposed on Libya since 2011 is “totally ineffective,” say UN experts in a stark report released on Tuesday which underscores “extensive, blatant” violations by actors including its own member states. The six experts charged with monitoring the embargo on the civil war-torn state pointed the finger at an array of international backers on both sides of its conflict, plus “The arms embargo remains totally ineffective. For those member states directly supporting the parties to the conflict, the violations are extensive, blatant and with complete disregard for the sanctions measures,” they wrote.

UN member states have systematically violated a Libyan arms embargo , according to a long-awaited UN report due to be published on Monday that will identify Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as the main culprits. The report is expected to say these three countries “routinely and sometimes blatantly The report, prepared by a UN panel of experts, will not identify the country responsible for a particularly egregious air assault on the Tajoura refugee detention centre on 2 July that led to 54 deaths, but it will make it clear the attack used weapons available only to a foreign power.

"Based on the 2020 transfers, arms stockpiles remain high and sufficient to sustain any future conflict," the experts said.

"The control of the supply chains by some member states continues, thus significantly hindering detection, disruption, or interdiction" of arms deliveries, they added, without naming any offending countries.

Though the opposing sides in Libya have asked foreign fighters to leave the country, the experts say they are "maintaining foreign fighters among their forces, including nationals from Chad, Sudan and Syria as well as from Russian private military companies."

The United Nations has previously estimated that 20,000 mercenaries and foreign fighters are deployed in Libya, including from the Russian private security firm Wagner.

"The panel has no evidence of any large scale withdrawals taking place to date," the experts said.

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