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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Libya arms embargo totally ineffective: UN official

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 03 September 2020 8:16 AM

A United Nations (UN) official has warned of "blatant" violations of the arms embargo on conflict-ridden Libya, where warring sides have been receiving direct and indirect support from foreign patrons.

Stephanie Williams, the interim UN envoy for Libya, raised the alarm on Wednesday and said the foreign supporters of the Libyan warring sides had failed to observe the arms embargo, which has been in place against the country since 2011.

The purported violations come despite pledges made by 16 states and organizations during a summit in Berlin in January not to interfere in Libya's internal affairs and its conflict and to "fully respect" the arms embargo.

"The arms embargo remains totally ineffective," Williams said, adding that the violations were "extensive, blatant and with complete disregard for the sanctions."

Williams said some 70 resupply planes had landed in and three cargo ship had docked at ports in Libya's east, which is the stronghold of the rebels, since July 8.

The UN envoy warned that any reckless action "risks igniting large-scale confrontation, with the devastating consequences this would entail for the country and the region at large."

The Libyan rebels are supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Jordan. They launched an unsuccessful military offensive to seize the capital, Tripoli, and unseat the government in April 2019.

The Libyan military has undone many of the rebels' gains with crucial support from its own patron, Turkey.

Libya plunged into chaos when NATO intervened in the country in the middle of an uprising in 2011, toppling its longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Since 2014, the country has been split between the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli, and the eastern-based rebels.

Libya discovers new mass grave

In another development on Wednesday, the Libyan government said a new mass grave had been found in the southwestern city of Tarhuna, which was the last major stronghold of the rebels before it was recently liberated after 14 months.

"The grave contains the remains of an unidentified number of bodies," Abdul Aziz Al-Jaafari, a spokesman for Libya's General Authority for Research and Identification of Missing Persons, told Turkey's Anadolu news agency.

The Libyan government has discovered several mass graves in Tripoli and Tarhuna in the wake of the rebels' defeat in his recent offensive on the capital.

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