UN to proceed with weapons blockade of Libya / News / News agency Inforos
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UN to proceed with weapons blockade of Libya

UN Security Council extends Operation IRINI in the Mediterranean Sea

UN to proceed with weapons blockade of Libya

Naval operation IRINI was launched on March 31, 2020 in order to comply with UN Security Council resolution 1970 (2011) on preventing supplies of weapons and military equipment to Libya, resolution 2146 on preventing illegal oil trade with Libya, and resolution 2240 on suppressing the slave trade.

Military ships allocated from the navies of Greece, Italy, France and Germany are engaged in executing the international regulations. Apart from these states, the aircraft of Poland and Luxembourg are involved in conducting reconnaissance.

As of May18 this year, the participants carried out 3244 marine ventures, 122 rescue operations and 13 foreign vessel detentions with security checks and search operations.

From the very beginning of discussions concerning this issue at the UN New York venues, Russia, which is out of the picture, has insisted on granting captains weightier rights when performing their combat missions, as well as tougher measures to violators. Including not only military cargo seizure, but also sanctions against the offending countries.

Recent history shows that Turkey remains major UN Security Council resolution violator as regards the supply of weapons and military equipment to Libya. Operation IRINI's forces have repeatedly seen foreign transport vessels with prohibited cargoes call at the seaports of Tripoli and Misrata, accompanied by Turkish warships that left Samsun and Istanbul.

The Italian-based Eastern Mediterranean air activity tracking center has consistently reported the departures and flight routes of Turkey's heavy military transport aircraft and planes leased to deliver military cargoes, military personnel and foreign fighters to Libya.

According to head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman, the military and political leadership of Turkey is not in the mood for living up to the ceasefire agreement and new Libyan government's demands to evacuate Syrian mercenaries recruited by the Turks. Rami Abdel Rahman said late March this year witnessed the Turks airlifting another 380-people strong batch of Syrian militants from Ankara to Tripoli.

On the back of agreements with the former government of Fayez al-Sarraj, the Turkish leadership is blunt about not going to cease its military presence in Libya. And delays in the withdrawal of Turkish-loyal militant detachments (about 8 thousand bayonets) are being justified by a threat coming from Marshal Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army.

It is becoming apparent that the country's peaceful settlement is being delayed indefinitely. The reason for this is the continued foreign military presence, which strongly hinders normal operation of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh 's new Government of National Unity. The pro-Turkish lobby at the highest levels of power seeks to divert the new government from its primary responsibilities, deliberately focusing on preparations for presidential elections due in late 2021.

The capital and a number of other cities controlled by the Turkish military, suffer from frequent armed clashes between the Libyan law enforcement forces and the foreign mercenaries. There is a real threat of skirmishes escalating into a conflict.

The country's leadership has come forward with an initiative to hold a UN-sponsored regular meeting of parties involved in Libya's internal conflict. The event is set to take place in Berlin on June 23, 2021, involving UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres via video conference and with the personal presence of his Special Envoy for Libya Jan Kubis.

But one can hardly expect any rapid progress in Libya's political settlement: it is only possible in case of putting the screws on Turkey to make it leave the country.

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