UN authorizes seizing of arms from vessels in Libyan waters

The UN Security Council authorized member states’ ships to “use all measures” to intercept suspected vessels sailing in Libyan waters in an effort to implement the arms embargo imposed on Libya.

The adopted resolution urged members to combat, by all means, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

Arms travelling to and from the African state often reach Da’esh and other terrorist groups which undermine efforts of Libya’s Government of National Accord to restore peace in the country.

The latest resolution also means that vessels assigned to Operation Sophia, a EUNAVFOR effort to prevent terrorism and the loss of life at sea, are now allowed to close in on vessels sailing near the Libyan coast instead of having to wait on them to enter international waters.

Egyptian representative to the United Nations Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta said his delegation fully supported the Presidency Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord and its efforts to restore stability to a fellow Arab State. Enforcement of the arms embargo was essential to eradicate the terrorist threat in Libya.

Egypt would cooperate closely with partners in the Council to enhance the international anti-terror system and make it more comprehensive, he said, calling once again on the international community, particularly the Council, to support the counter‑terrorism efforts of the Libyan National Army and other national security institutions.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Yelchenko said that despite the arms embargo, the threat posed by the proliferation of arms was growing. Terrorist groups like Da’esh and Al-Qaida, as well as foreign terrorist fighters still gained access to weapons in violation of the embargo, thereby undermining peace and security in the region. Trafficking in arms must be stopped, he emphasized, welcoming the European Union’s decision to extend the mandate of Operation Sophia by one year.