UN extends arms embargo on Libya for one year


The United Nations Security Council has again authorized a European Union mission to combat illegal arms transfers to Libya and implement an arms embargo on the conflict-torn North African country.

This follows calls for action to curb the illicit flow of weapons to Libya.

After a unanimous vote on Monday, Council agreed to extend authorization of Operation Sophia for another year until June 2020.

The European Union’s Operation Sophia has been the only regional naval operation carrying out inspections of vessels on the high seas headed to or from Libya.

Germany told the Council that arms supplies delivered in violation of a UN embargo were the main challenge limiting efforts to end to the fighting between rival factions in Tripoli and a return to political talks.

Belgium and South Africa also expressed concerns about arms flows to Libya.

In June 2016, the Council adopted Resolution 2292 to authorize inspection of vessels in the Mediterranean suspected of carrying weapons. The authorizations have been extended several times.

Libya has been divided between two rival governments, head of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 to seize control of the capital Tripoli, engaging in an all-out clash with the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) troops.

According to the UN, at least 432 people have been killed with 2,069 wounded and over 50,000 displaced since April.

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