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Saturday, April 17, 2021

UN report paperwork mass violations of Libya arms embargo

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CAIRO (AP) — A U.N. report has sketched a grim image of conflict-wrecked Libya, accusing a number of overseas governments of turning the oil-rich nation right into a stage to play out rivalries and ignoring U.N. sanctions and a decade-long arms embargo.

The 548-page report by U.N. specialists comes as an interim authorities took energy in Libya this week, designed to steer the North African nation via elections later this yr.

The report stated a U.N. arms embargo imposed 10 years in the past has remained “completely ineffective,” with “intensive, blatant and with full disregard for the sanctions measures” by U.N. member states supporting rival sides in Libya.

“Their management of all the provide chain complicates detection, disruption or interdiction,” the specialists stated.

The report, launched earlier this week, covers the interval from October 2019 until January 2021, a time that noticed heavy preventing between Libyan factions for management of the capital, Tripoli.

It recognized Turkey and Qatar because the backers of forces loyal to the U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli, to the west, whereas the United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Egypt have supported Khalifa Hifter, the navy commander controlling jap and southern components of Libya.

The report additionally particulars how these nations fueled the battle in Libya, which descended into chaos in 2011, when a NATO-backed coalition helped rebels overthrow longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed.

It documented dozens of arms shipments, together with drones, surface-to-air missiles, artillery items and armored autos, in addition to the deployment of mercenaries — together with Russians, Syrians, Sudanese, and Chadians — delivered to Libya to bolster its warring sides, particularly in Hifter’s offensive on Tripoli.

Hifter’s forces launched an offensive in April 2019 to attempt to seize Tripoli from the U.N.-supported authorities there. The marketing campaign collapsed in mid-2020 and his forces had been pressured to retreat to the strategic metropolis of Sirte. They had been pushed again largely attributable to heavy Turkish navy assist of their rivals.

The U.N. specialists additionally detailed how American safety contractor Erik Prince, a detailed ally of former President Donald Trump, violated the U.N. arms embargo, together with three United Arab Emirates-based corporations and their prime managers, throughout Hifter’s marketing campaign on Tripoli.

They outlined a personal safety operation known as “Challenge Opus” designed to supply navy tools to Hifter and to “kidnap or terminate people considered excessive worth targets.”

The specialists additionally documented the deployment of some 700 troops from Sudan’s paramilitary forces to Libya’s central city of Jufra, which homes an inland air base managed by Hifter’s fighters. The Sudanese forces, identified for his or her brutal crackdown within the Darfur area, had been in Libya for round two months however didn’t interact in fight, the specialists stated.

The report exhibits how airways, charters and service provider vessels had been utilized by overseas governments to switch mercenaries and complex weapons to the battle, typically by disguising their missions.

It additionally detailed a spread of actions throughout Libya that threatened Libya’s peace, stability, or safety. Militant teams remained lively within the nation, “albeit with diminished actions,” it stated.

Japanese Libya authorities continued their efforts to illegally export crude oil and import aviation gasoline, although in lesser portions amid the pandemic, the U.N. specialists stated, whereas in western Libya, smugglers networks’ infrastructure “stays intact and their readiness to conduct illicit exports is undiminished.”

“A resumption of their illicit actions, as soon as international demand for bunker gasoline recovers, is to be anticipated,” the report stated.

The report additionally addressed allegations of corruption that plagued the U.N.-led course of that chosen the brand new transitional authorities. At the very least three contributors on the political discussion board in early November had been supplied bribes to vote for an unnamed candidate for prime minister, it stated, with out naming the discussion board members.

It referred U.N. Safety Council members to extra particulars on the allegations in a confidential annex to report.

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