By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 19 April 2016:
As expected the US has followed the EU and imposed sanctions on Khalifa Ghwell, the . . .[restrict]“prime minister” appointed by the General National Congress (GNC). He was sanctioned by the Europeans earlier this month along with GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain and the president of the House of Representatives, Ageela Saleh, for obstructing the Libyan Political Agreement.
The announcement was made today by the US Treasury Department which accused him of “political obstruction and undermining peace, security, or stability of Libya”. He had, the order read, “actively worked to obstruct the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement establishing the GNA”.
The Treasury statement followed an executive order earlier in the day by US President Barack Obama, authorising the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take action against anyone deemed to be involved in activities or policies that threatened the peace, security, or stability of Libya. This includes “obstructing, undermining, delaying, or impeding, the adoption of or political transition to a Government of National Accord or a successor government”.
Under the order, any assets that Ghwell may have in the US are blocked and he is not able to travel there.
It is not known if he has any assets in the US.
US special envoy to Libya Jonathan Winer, commenting on the sanctions move said: “Our goal with sanctions on spoilers is to secure the strongest possible unity government in Libya. The country needs unity, not infighting”.
Ghwell was reported to have left the Bab Al Bahr hotel in Tripoli where he had been staying for his hometown of Misrata on 1 April and been back in the capital just once on 13 April for a session of the GNC. However, officials in Misrata say that he is still based mostly Tripoli but comes to Misrata every Thursday.
So far, there has been no action on the other two men sanctioned by the EU. However, in the case of Nuri Abu Sahmain, it is thought that an announcement will be made soon. [/restrict]