Libya: EU tightens sanctions for violations of human rights and arms embargo

“Today, new restrictive measures have been adopted involving people who have committed human rights abuses and entities that have violated the United Nations arms embargo,” announced EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, at the end of the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting, the head of European diplomacy noted that this strengthening of restrictive measures related to the Libyan conflict, today agreed by government officials, “shows how it is possible to use the sanctions regime from a humanitarian and geostrategic point of view ”.

“We are not doing everything we can, but no one is doing more than the EU,” said Josep Borrell.

In the meantime, in a statement, the EU Council states that it is concerned with “restrictive measures concerning two persons responsible for human rights violations in Libya and three entities involved in the violation of the UN arms embargo in force for Libya”, which they will be “added to the EU list of people and entities subject to restrictive measures related to the Libyan conflict”.

The sanctions now adopted include the ban on travel and the freezing of assets for individuals and entities, in addition to the persons and entities concerned being prohibited from accessing other forms of financing.

The EU’s list of sanctions related to the Libyan conflict currently covers 17 people who are prevented from traveling and another 21 individuals and 19 entities with frozen assets.

EU sanctions complement and reinforce those adopted by the United Nations (UN), which include an arms embargo and individual measures for human rights violations.

At the press conference, Josep Borrell also stressed that Libya is “losing its resources” with the oil blockade in force, which has already caused losses amounting to billions of euros since the beginning of the year.

Already referring to the most recent ceasefire, the head of European diplomacy has classified it as “a window of opportunity” to ensure the achievement of a “sustainable agreement” and to overcome the oil blockade.

In early September, the Libyan government, led by Fayez al-Sarraj, based in Tripoli and supported by the UN, announced a nationwide ceasefire, calling for the demilitarization of the disputed strategic city of Sirte, controlled by the rival government. from the east of the country, controlled by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The Tripoli government has also called for an end to the oil blockade imposed by rival forces since the beginning of the year, as well as parliamentary and presidential elections.

Libya plunged into chaos after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Sarraj has the help of Turkey and Haftar with the support of Russia and Egypt.

Haftar’s forces launched an offensive in April 2019 to try to capture the capital, but the campaign failed in June when Tripoli’s allied militias, with Turkish support, gained an advantage.


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