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UN Security Council extends inspection period of ships off the Libyan coast

A unanimous decision was made following a UNSC meeting on Thursday to extend the inspection permit for ships off the Libyan coast for another year.

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Following a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Thursday, a unanimous decision was made to extend the inspection permit for ships off the Libyan coast for another year. Issues such as illegal immigration and human smuggling were taken into account in the decision, which allowed the arms embargo against Libya to be controlled in the open seas in 2016.

A statement was released from the Estonian Ambassador, who chaired the Security Council’s meetings this month. In this context, according to the UNSC’s decision numbered 2578, it was added that “the inspection of ships is allowed in case of suspected violations of the arms embargo or human smuggling”.

Violations of the arms embargo against Libya in the Mediterranean are controlled by Operation Irini, implemented by the European Union (EU) under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) initiative. Operation Irini was launched on March 31, 2020, following the Berlin Conference on Libya. In March 2021, the EU extended the mandate of Operation Irini, which it implemented to oversee the arms embargo against Libya in the Mediterranean, until March 31, 2023.

Some experts state that Irini is inadequate in preventing the violations of the arms embargo in Libya, and that air and land routes should also be subject to inspection. At a time when Libya has entered into a process of national peace and reconciliation, the correct implementation of these embargoes is regarded to be very important.

The UNSC decision has come amid a ceasefire and national political process aiming to establish a permanent Libyan government hierarchy through general elections planned to take place on December 24, 2021. Until then, the war-torn country is run by the Government of National Unity (GNU), which was elected by the UN-initiated Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF).

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