22 – 28 January 2020: UNSMIL condemns continued blatant violations of the arms embargo in Libya

Jan 30, 2020 | International actors

On 23 January, Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum held a meeting with foreign ministers from Mali, Egypt, Chad, Niger, Sudan, and Tunisia, the latter five nations sharing a common border with Libya. Following the meeting, its attendees released a joint statement stating they “exhorted the Libyan belligerents to engage in a dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations and with the help of the African Union and Libya’s neighbours in order to reach a global settlement away from any foreign interference.”
On 23 January, Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland stated the EU would not agree to a political solution to the Libya crisis while the GNA and Turkey maintain their maritime MoU.
On 23 January, Syrian fighters allegedly accidently killed two fighters belonging to the Ghnewia militia in Hadba al-Mashru. In response, Ghnewia has attempted to restrict the Syrian fighters’ movement and prevent them from talking to the media. This follows reports that the GNA’s Ministry of Interior has deployed police forces alongside the Syrian troops in order to prevent them from undertaking criminal activity, which could undermine the GNA. On 24 January, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey has sent military personnel, in the form of a training and cooperation team, to Libya to assist the GNA forces as a part of the military cooperation agreement signed with Serraj in November 2019.
On 26 January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met with Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in Algeria. The two discussed economic cooperation and reported to be in “full agreement” on the Libya crisis in the wake of the Berlin conference.
On 27 January, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met EU High Representative Josep Borrell in Berlin to discuss the situation in Libya. Maas called for the UN Security Council to enforce sanctions against those who breach the UN arms embargo on Libya, and said he hopes that the 5+5 committee will meet this week to discuss the possibility of an UN-brokered truce.
On 27 January, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) issued a statement saying it deeply regrets the “continued blatant violations of the arms embargo in Libya,” especially those conducted even after concerned countries made commitments to abide by the arms embargo during the Berlin conference held on 19 January 2020. UNSMIL said the fragile truce between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) is now threatened by the ongoing further transfer of foreign fighters, weapons, ammunition and advanced systems. Yet, the statement lacked a mention of concrete penalties or enforcement mechanisms. Over the course of the last week, various aerial monitoring sources have reported a continued high level of aerial deliveries from the UAE to Benghazi.