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UN Says Libya Arms Embargo a 'Joke'

UN Says Libya Arms Embargo a 'Joke'

Sunday, 16 February, 2020 - 15:45
Fighters loyal GNA | Reuters
Berlin- Asharq Al-Awsat

An arms embargo aimed at curbing fighting in Libya has become meaningless because of violations and it is imperative that those who breach it are held to account, a senior UN official said on Sunday.

"The arms embargo has become a joke, we all really need to step up here," UN Deputy Special Representative to Libya Stephanie Williams said after a meeting of foreign ministers to follow up on a Berlin summit last month that agreed to uphold the embargo. Fighting has continued despite a call for a truce.

"It's complicated because there are violations by land, sea, and air, but it needs to be monitored and there needs to be accountability," Williams told a news conference, adding that Libya was now awash with advanced weapons.

A joint statement issued on Sunday by 13 countries involved in Libya, included Egypt, UAE, and Turkey, said there had been a discussion on the "deplorable" arms embargo violations and "renewed determination to contribute to its thorough implementation."

However, there was no mention of how the embargo would be monitored, enforced or whether there would be any consequences for violating it.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he wanted EU foreign ministers to make a decision on Monday on their role in monitoring the embargo.

"Everyone needs to know that - if they violate the embargo in future - then they violate a UN resolution and that this can't remain without consequences," Maas said, without elaborating.

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