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United Nations seeks to strengthen Libya arms embargo


United Nations seeks to strengthen Libya arms embargo

libya ceasefire
Photo: Hani Amara/Reuters

A three-day security conference meets today in Munich in an effort to implement agreements on Libya made at the Berlin Conference on January 19.

Crisis erupted in Libya last April when Commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar launched an assault on Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli.

The Berlin Conference, attended by 11 countries, pledged to enforce a ceasefire, initiate bilateral talks, fairly distribute oil and end foreign interference. In addition to this accord, a UN resolution calling for the ceasefire was passed earlier this week.

However, rather than signing the cease-fire, Haftar prefers military engagement. The Army commander, whose forces control most of Libya’s oil infrastructure, has now blocked five ports and, as such, oil production is falling to its lowest level in 10 years. This curtails the country’s main source of revenue and the major asset Tripoli has over Haftar.

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With Haftar now moving to affect global oil markets, expect the UN to ramp up efforts for an international taskforce on the ground in Libya to ensure a ceasefire holds. Coalition forces will have to move quickly; for the more territory Haftar seizures and the more economic resources he paralyses, the more bargaining leverage he will have if the warring parties return to the negotiating table.

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