25 November – 1 December: US sanctions Kaniyat

Dec 2, 2020 | International actors

On 25 November, the United States unilaterally blacklisted the Kaniyat militia, freezing its assets and prohibiting Americans from doing business with the militia or its leadership through the Congressional legislation known as the Global Magnitsky Act. The move came in response to alleged human rights violations by the militia and its leader, Mohammed al-Kani, and followed a move by Russia the previous week to block the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s Sanctions Committee from imposing sanctions on the group.

On 24 November, Speaker of the Tubruq-based House of Representatives (HoR), Aqeela Saleh, arrived in Moscow to meet with Russian officials to discuss the political settlement in Libya. According to the HoR’s official spokesperson, Saleh met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the start of his trip to discuss ‘events in Libya and the region, solutions to the Libyan crisis and the role of the international community and the government of Russia in ending the crisis’.

On 23 November, the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) met with the Security Working Group formed through the so-called Berlin process of January 2020 to brief the international community on the progress of the ceasefire the JMC delegates had reached one month prior. In the briefing, 5+5 JMC member Mukhtar al-Nagasa said the commission and the Security Working Group were reiterating the need to expel all mercenaries and foreign elements from Libya. The meeting reportedly resulted in a call for the UNSC to issue a binding resolution on the ceasefire agreement, and to urge the countries that took part in the Berlin Conference to work with the 5+5 JMC and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to remove foreign mercenaries from Libya. The meeting also reportedly resulted in an agreement to enforce the international arms embargo by sending an international monitoring mission under the auspices of the UN and supervision of the JMC. Participants in the meeting also agreed to impose sanctions on states and individuals who violated the ceasefire agreement.