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15 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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UN report unmasks Libya arms embargo violations

AFP, Tripoli
UN report unmasks Libya arms embargo violations
This file photo shows fighters loyal to the UN-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) displaying Chinese-made shells bearing the markings of the United Arab Emirates (left side on the box), which were reportedly seized from forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar in Gharyan, 100 kilometres south of Tripoli. AFP photo

From buying an Irish navy boat re-registered as a “pleasure yacht” to enlisting a Canadian firm to recruit Sudanese fighters—Libya’s warring parties are running rings around a UN arms embargo. That’s the upshot of a near-400-word report published this week by UN experts, who accuse an array of firms and external powers of violating a 2011 embargo by delivering arms or fighters to the North African country.

Mired in chaos since the NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi eight years ago, Libya’s military malaise has deepened further this year.

Eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar in April launched an offensive against the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) -- a military campaign the UN panel of experts says has “unleashed new transfers of military equipment” to Libya. Such transfers have been “repeated and sometimes blatant, with scant regard paid to compliance with the sanctions measures”, the report says, noting that some deliveries were long planned and painstakingly disguised.

The UN experts conclude “the arms embargo was ineffective, and resulted in regular maritime and air transfers to Libya of military material”. For example, they detail the opaque process surrounding the transfer of an Irish navy patrol boat to Haftar’s forces.

Sold for 110,000 euros ($122,000) in March 2017 by the Irish government to a Dutch company, it was then bought for $525,000 by an Emirati firm and re-registered in Panama as a “pleasure yacht”. The ship was subsequently bought by Haftar’s forces for $1.5 million.

The vessel was supposed to be delivered to Alexandria, the report says, but instead arrived in the eastern Libyan coastal city of Benghazi without ever docking at the Egyptian port, the UN investigators found.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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