US House passes Libya Stabilisation Act
On 29 September, the United States House of Representatives passed the Libya Stabilization Act, which requires the US president to impose sanctions on foreign individuals proved to be supporting or engaged in military operations in Libya or responsible for human rights violations. It also calls for increased American foreign assistance, democracy promotion and economic support to the country.
The Libya Stabilization Act passed the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) without opposition in late April 2021. It had already passed the full House in the last Congress but needed to be modified and reintroduced as it did not clear the Senate in the previous Congress and hence needed to make the entire journey from Bill into law again. The Libya Stabilization Act has been frequently modified but has never passed the Senate despite having extensive Republican support.
Its original purpose in mid to late 2019 was as a Congressional check on Trump’s possible support for Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar. It then evolved in 2020 to focus on deterring both Russia and Turkey from continuing to intervene in Libya militarily. The most recent modification in late 2020 after Trump lost the election was to single out the UAE (as well as Turkey and Russia) as one of the countries which is actively destabilising Libya and violating the UN arms embargo. This addition allows the Bill to be a pressure point against the UAE using or introducing American armaments in Libya.