UNSC Libya Panel Report Covers Violations of Arms Embargo, HR Abuses and Foreign Mercenaries
Last week, the UN Security Council published its final report of the Panel of Experts on Libya, established pursuant to resolution 1973 (2011). The long, detailed report touches on a number of significant topics including human rights violations, violations of the arms embargo, and the role of foreign mercenaries in Libya’s conflicts. The report states that the panel continues to receive frequent reports of serious human rights violations, including kidnappings, arbitrary detentions and summary executions. Cases investigated by the Panel include abuses against Libyan residents of Tripoli and Benghazi, prisoners of war and migrants.
The Panel documented several instances in which armed groups were involved in actual or potential violations of the arms embargo. Access to military equipment has facilitated the escalation of armed conflicts, notably through air strikes. The report states that the United Arab Emirates have been providing military equipment to the LNA, in violation of the arms embargo, significantly increasing the air support available to LNA. Likewise, the report indicates that armed groups in Misrata have received support from a network of foreign pilots, mercenaries, and arms dealers, including Ecuadorians, which has allowed them to increase their capacity to launch airstrikes.
The report also highlights the direct intervention of Chadian and Sudanese mercenaries in the Libyan conflict, particularly in the Oil Crescent, warning that their actions are a direct threat to the security and economic stability of Libya. The Panel also received reports that commanders of the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi were received in Marj in mid-October 2016. Chadian groups were also hosted in Misrata-controlled bases in Ahjar al-Sawda’ and in Sabha.
This report highlights the destabilizing impact that external support for rival factions, whether that support is direct or indirect, military or political, has on Libya’s fragile dynamics. While such support continues, which it is likely to do particularly in the case of the UAE given the recent strengthening of the anti-Qatar Arab alliance, it will be difficult to de-escalate conflict and bring rival factions to the negotiating table on equal terms.
Click here to access the full report.