Russia, China block UN report naming and shaming arms embargo violators in Libya

Russia, China block UN report naming and shaming arms embargo violators in Libya

September 27, 2020 - 15:17
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Russia and China blocked the official release of a report by UN experts on Libya that accused Libyan warring parties and their international backers - including Russia - of violating the UN arms embargo on Libya.

Germany’s deputy UN ambassador, Gunter Sautter, said he brought the issue to the Security Council after the two countries blocked the report’s release by the committee monitoring sanctions on Libya, which Germany heads.

"Many delegations have asked for the publication of the panel of experts’ interim report. This would create much-needed transparency. It would contribute to naming and shaming those who continue to blatantly violate the arms embargo in spite of agreements that have been made.” Sautter added.

But diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because Friday’s council consultations were closed, said Russia and close ally China again blocked the report’s publication.

Sautter said before the meeting, when asked what Germany could do if Russia and China blocked the report’s release again: “Let me assure you I will continue to use every tool at hand in order to make sure that we have the necessary transparency.”

The report, leaked earlier this month, said the arms embargo was being violated by Libya’s parties, especially east-based forces under Khalifa Haftar, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Jordan. The panel said the embargo remains “totally ineffective.”

The experts said 11 companies also violated the arms embargo, including the Wagner Group, a private Russian security company that the panel said in May provided between 800 and 1200 mercenaries to Haftar.

In addition, the experts said the warring parties and their international backers, along with Egypt and Syria, failed to inspect aircraft or vessels if they have reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains military weapons and ammunition, as required by a 2015 Security Council resolution.

Germany's Sautter said the Security Council has agreed that there will be a special envoy “and we need an agreement urgently on who that is going to be."