Libya arms embargo breached


Countries backing rival factions in Libya violated an arms embargo they agreed to a week ago at a summit in Berlin, the United Nations said.

Last Sunday, foreign powers backing opposing camps fighting over Libya’s capital Tripoli agreed at a summit hosted by Germany and the United Nations to push the parties to a lasting ceasefire and respect an existing UN arms embargo.

“Over the last ten days, numerous cargo and other flights were observed landing at Libyan airports in the west and east of the country providing advanced weapons, armoured vehicles, advisers and fighters,” the UN mission to Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement.

“The mission condemns these violations, which risk plunging the country into a renewed and intensified round of fighting,” UNSMIL said.

It blamed several countries at the Berlin conference, without naming them.

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt support eastern forces of Khalifa Haftar which have been trying to take Tripoli in a near 10 month campaign. The internationally recognised administration in Tripoli trying to fend off Haftar forces is backed by Turkey.

Fighting abated over the past two weeks but on Saturday heavy artillery could be heard in Tripoli, a Reuters reporter said.

The Berlin summit gathered top officials from the UAE, Egypt, Turkey as well as western countries including the United States, France, Britain and the European Union.

Germany invited Haftar and Tripoli Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, who met separately with Chancellor Angela Merkel but refused to sit down together.