EU ministers back new mission to enforce Libya arms embargo
Feb. 17, 2020
Foreign ministers agree on creating new mission to block entry of arms, since current rule is routinely flouted.
The European Union foreign ministers have agreed to launch a new mission in the Mediterranean to enforce a United Nations arms embargo on Libya.
In their meeting on Monday in Brussels, the ministers were attempting to find a new solution to stem the bloodshed since the current embargo is routinely flouted.
"We all agreed to create a mission to block the entry of arms into Libya," Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio said, adding that the mission would include a naval element to enforce the embargo - a sticking point for some member states.
The news was confirmed by his German and Austrian counterparts.
Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a civil war toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi , who was later killed.
There are two competing administrations in the country: the UN-recognised, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), and a separate administration based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which supports the rebel military commander Khalifa Haftar .
The GNA is supported by Turkey, which recently sent thousands of soldiers to Libya.
Haftar, whose forces launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli last April, is backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
The UN said in November that the UAE, Sudan, Turkey and Jordan have violated the arms embargo imposed on Libya.
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