UN deputy Special Envoy for Libya, Stephanie Williams, has described the UN-backed arms embargo in Libya as a joke adding that the country’s financial position is deteriorating rapidly.
She stated this after foreign ministers met in Munich to try to enforce a ceasefire between the two warring sides.
Since a meeting of world leaders in Berlin last month to draw up a Libyan peace plan, both sides in the civil war have ignored international appeals and turned back to their external sponsor nations for further arms and mercenary support.
Members of the Libya International Committee had gathered on Sunday to carry on further talks to reach a permanent ceasefire in the region.
Last week, the UN security council passed a resolution calling for enforcement of the arms embargo and a ceasefire.
UN deputy special envoy for Libya, Stephanie Williams is not amused with this development. She says violations of the arms embargo in Libya have become a joke and it is imperative that those who breach it are held to account:
U.N. deputy Sepcial Representatives to Libya, Stephanie Williams said: “Look, as the SRSG (Mr. Ghassan Salamé. Special Representative of the Secretary-General) has said, I think on numerous occasions, the arms embargo has become a joke. And so you know, we all really need to step up here, and it’s complicated because there are violations that are happening by land, sea and air, and that all needs to be monitored and there needs to be accountability ultimately. Libya is awash with weaponry and now advanced weaponry and that is very dangerous for regional peace and security not to mention international peace and security.”
The crisis is threatening to turn into another show of international – and especially European – weakness.
Libya has had no stable central authority since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by NATO-backed rebels in 2011.
For more than five years, it has had two rival governments, in the east and the west, with streets controlled by armed groups.
German foreign minister and the lead European diplomat on Libya, Heiko Maas said it was essential that political talks resumed by the end of the month.
Also, German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, said: “It has been obvious in the last weeks that there have been many not insignificant breaches of the weapons embargo. There have been decidedly differing explanations offered up from Libya as to what the reasons for this are, but everybody agrees that the path we have taken, which is to separate the conflicting parties from their supporters is still the only path to a possible successful outcome in ending the civil war in Libya.”
In January, foreign powers agreed to shore up a shaky truce in Libya at a summit in Berlin, but the meeting was overshadowed by blockades of oilfields by forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar.
Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and Haftar did not meet in the German capital, but a special committee made up of five military officials from each side was appointed to monitor the truce.
Both sides have agreed to continue the dialogue with the U.N. at a follow-up meeting on Tuesday in Geneva.