The Director General of the Libyan Asset Recovery and Management Office (LARMO), Mohamed Mensli, called for eased sanctions on Libyan assets abroad to address the country’s humanitarian needs and improve its economy.
Mensli was speaking at the International Bar Association event held in Paris on 3 November during the session titled “Rule of Law Symposium: Assessing the Impact of Sanctions”.
LAMRO’s Director General acknowledged the necessity of sanctions and asset freezing in certain instances, while also highlighting the potential peril such actions pose to the general population.
Negatively impacting capacity to address critical societal needs
“Libya’s overseas frozen assets have incurred an annual loss of well over US$ one billion, significantly impacting our capacity to address critical societal needs. This staggering figure translates into the inability to recruit essential personnel such as doctors, nurses, and teachers. It impedes our efforts to subsidize pensions, curb youth unemployment, build or maintain infrastructure, and reduce youth unemployment.” asserted the Director General.
Mensli urged stakeholders to rally behind LARMO’s strategy, advocating for the phased recovery of looted and neglected Libyan assets.
Process to be supervised by internal and external entities
This comprehensive approach, LAMRO explained, entails the collection and responsible investment of these assets, aimed at benefiting the Libyan people in both the short and long term. The process will be meticulously supervised by both internal and external entities. He emphasized the extensive backing for this policy at both local and international levels.
The recent tragedy of severe flooding in the Derna region, alongside a multitude of enduring humanitarian challenges, underscores the pressing requirements in Libya and the need to for such process, LAMRO added.
Injustice faced by Libyans due to inability to access their assets
Addressing an audience of esteemed international judges, legal practitioners, and law professionals, Mensli stressed the injustice faced by Libyans unable to access assets rightfully belonging to them, despite enduring ongoing hardships. “In the past few years alone, we lost billions of dollars —a sum that could have tangibly improved the lives of every Libyan, particularly those in the most vulnerable conditions.”, he said.