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          UN slams ongoing Libya arms embargo violations

          January 27, 2020

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          TRIPOLI: Weapons are pouring into Libya in violation of an arms embargo and despite commitments made by world powers, the UN’s mission in Libya has said as Germany expressed concern about reports of infringements.

          World leaders met in Berlin last weekend and committed to ending all foreign meddling in Libya and to upholding the 2011 UN Security Council weapons embargo as part of a broader plan to end the country’s conflict.

          They also agreed to a permanent ceasefire and steps to dismantle numerous militias and armed groups, as well as a political process under the auspices of the UN.

          The UN mission in Libya, UNSMIL, said in a statement late on Saturday it “deeply regrets the continued blatant violations of the arms embargo in Libya”.

          “Over the last 10 days, numerous cargo and other flights have been observed landing at Libyan airports in the western and eastern parts of the country providing the parties with advanced weapons, armoured vehicles, advisers and fighters,” it added.

          On Sunday, Germany’s foreign ministry expressed support for the UNSMIL statement, along with concern about “a series of unconfirmed but credible reports of embargo violations on both sides”.

          Libya has been mired in chaos since a 2011 Nato-backed uprising that killed longtime dictator Moamer Qadhafi, with two rival administrations vying for power.

          The conflict deepened last year when military strongman Khalifa Hafter, who controls much of the south and east of Libya, launched an assault in April to seize Tripoli, base of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

          Haftar has the backing of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia while the GNA is supported by Qatar and Turkey.

          On Sunday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the Algerian capital to discuss the crisis in Libya, where a ceasefire went into effect on January 12 at the initiative of Moscow and Ankara.

          UNSMIL said the ceasefire , which had provided much-needed respite for civilians in Tripoli, was now at risk of collapse.

          Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020

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