Wednesday, June 10, 2015

UN prepares sanctions against two Libyan fall guys

The UN long ago adopted a resolution that would allow sanctions to placed upon individuals who threaten the success of UN sponsored peace talks and attempts to forge an agreement on a unity government.
There have been constant violations of the UN resolution by CIA-linked Khalifa Haftar and the internationally-recognized government of Abdullah Al Thinni in Tobruk but there are no sanctions proposed against either individual. A partial list of Haftar's acts subverting the peace process can be found here but the list is far from complete. He has lately made several attacks on civilian vessels. In large part he is responsible for the conflict since he started Operation Dignity in May 2014 against Islamist militias in Benghazi but also against the GNC government which was then headed by the same Abdullah al-Thinni who is now prime minister of the Tobruk government. Al-Thinni was supposed to arrest Al-Thinni after Haftar allies burned down the parliament buildings as part of Operation Dignity. Haftar also claimed bombing attacks over several nights on Tripoli with international support. Now Al-Thinni has appointed Haftar armed forces chief and claims to fully support Operation Dignity including an offensive against Tripoli announced just as peace talks were to take place. Haftar also bombed the one remaining Tripoli airport not once but twice just before the peace talks. In one case the delegates from Tripoli had to delay their departure until the following day. The UN can sanction any individual who is responsible for:".. attacks against any air, land, or sea port in Libya, or against a Libyan State institution or installation, including oil facilities, or against any foreign mission in Libya"Haftar has attacked both air ports and sea ports.
As well as supporting Haftar and his Operation Dignity which aims at a military solution to the conflict, Al-Thinni has been involved in attempts to violate the neutrality of the Central Bank and has formed a new oil company to compete with the National Oil Company. These two institutions have attempted to remain neutral in the conflict and have enabled the country to still function in spite of the existence of the rival governments. The UN can impose sanctions for any individual or organization that threatens these institutions:".. threatening or coercing Libyan State financial institutions and the Libyan National Oil Company, or engaging in any action that may lead to or result in the misappropriation of Libyan State funds."
Of course neither Al-Thinni nor Haftar need worry about being sanctioned since they are supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The US does not want these countries to fall into the orbit of Russia and buy arms from them rather than US-based arms providers. No doubt this is why the US recently released $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt.
The two worthies to be sanctioned are being proposed by the US, France, Spain, and Britain. This is supposed to help the the UN talks aimed at forming a unity government. The next talks are scheduled for June 8 in Skhirat Morocco. If the proposed sanctions are accepted Othman Maliqta, a militia leader associated loosely with the Tobruk government, and Abdulrahman Swehli a Misrata politician connected to the Tripoli government would be subject to a global travel ban and asset freeze. No doubt the idea is to show the great power of the UN and that it is neutral since it picks one fall guy from each side to serve as an example. Meanwhile, the real culprits Al-Thinni and Haftar can laugh all the way to their newly established bank. As the Libya Herald reports:The House of Representatives (HoR) President, Ageela Saleh, the only internationally recognized parliament in Libya, opened the new headquarters of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) in the eastern city of Al-Beida Thursday.He was accompanied by CBL Governor Ali Salam Hibri as well as a number of Representatives, a representative of the Abdullah Thinni government and head of Al-Beida city council.
I am sure these officials are shaking in their boots as they can expect UN sanctions quite soon for undermining the neutrality of the Libyan Central Bank.


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