EU Welcomes Resolution to Renew Arms Embargo on Libya

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On Saturday, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, welcomed the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s resolution to renew the UN arms embargo on Libya.

“We welcome the renewal of UNSC resolution on the UN arms embargo on Libya,” the EU top diplomat said in a tweet.

He added, “this reflects the recognition of EUNAVFOR_MED IRINI’s contribution to restoring peace & stability in Libya. The EU is the only international actor inspecting suspect vessels to prevent arms flows to the country.”

“The UN Security Council decided today to renew measures designed to implement the arms embargo against Libya for another year, in particular those authorising Member States — acting nationally or through regional organizations — to inspect vessels on the high seas off Libya’s coast believed to be in violation of the arms embargo imposed on that country,” the UN Security Council said in a statement.

It added that the resolution was adopted by a 14 – 0 vote, with one abstention being Russia.

The Security Council requested that the Secretary-General report on the implementation of the resolution within six to 11 months.

The EU Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI was launched in the Mediterranean Sea on March 31st, 2020, following the Berlin Conference on Libya to oversee the UN’s arms embargo on Libya.

Days ago, a UN panel of experts said in a report that the arms embargo imposed on Libya by the Security Council in 2011 remains “totally ineffective”, adding that civilians, including migrants and asylum seekers, continue to suffer widespread rights violations and abuses.

The panel said it identified 18 arms transfers and four examples of military training between March 2021 and late April 2022 that violated the UN arms embargo. According to the report, Libya faces a serious security threat from foreign fighters and private military companies, which have violated international law.

The experts also accused seven Libyan armed groups of systematically using unlawful detention to punish perceived opponents. They are ignoring international and domestic civil rights laws, including laws prohibiting torture.

In particular, “migrants have been extremely vulnerable to human rights abuses and regularly subjected to acts of slavery, rape, and torture,” the panel said in the report to the UN Security Council obtained by the Associated Press (AP).