By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 13 June 2017:
The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to extend its arms embargo off the coast of Libya for another 12 months.
Resolution 2357 (2017) allows UN member states – whether acting nationally or through regional organisations – to inspect ships suspected of violating the arms embargo imposed on Libya. The resolution provides international legality to vessels that are part of the EU military Operation Sophia.
The resolution is an extension of resolution 2292 (2016) that also gave member states the power to seize and dispose of arms found.
The UK’s deputy ambassador and Italy’s deputy foreign minister Vincenzo Amendola both said it showed the international community’s commitment to Libya.
Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Vladimir Safronkov did not comment directly on the new resolution, but said the Libyan crisis was a serious source of instability to neighbouring states and further afield.
A recently released UN experts report on Libya said arms embargo violations continued and were only fuelling the conflict.
Earlier this month, Prince Mohammed El-Senussi said lifting the embargo would be “irresponsible madness” and only exacerbate the situation.