Russia stops UN blacklisting of infamous Libyan militia | Libya

The move is to the USA. Germany is proposing an asset freeze and a travel ban for the armed group al-Kaniyat and its leader Mohammed al-Kani.

Russia has prevented a UN Security Council committee from blacklisting a Libyan armed group and its leader for human rights abuses because it said it wanted to see more evidence first that it killed civilians.

The United States and Germany proposed that the 15-member Libyan Sanctions Committee of the Council impose an asset freeze and travel ban on the al-Kaniyat militia and its leader, Mohammed al-Kani.

Such a move must be mutually agreed, but Russia said it could not agree.

“Our support in the future is possible, but conditional upon the provision of irrefutable evidence of their involvement in the killing of the civilian population,” a Russian diplomat told his colleagues in the Security Council in a note that Reuters news agency saw on Friday.

The Libyan city of Tarhuna, recaptured in June by the internationally recognized government of the National Agreement (GNA), has been controlled for years by al-Kaniyat, which was run by the local Kani family who break away with eastern Libya Commanders Khalifa Haftar fought the National Army (LNA).

Last month, Libyan authorities unearthed 12 bodies from four other unmarked graves in Tarhuna, adding to the many bodies discovered since June.

Libya’s two warring parties have signed a “permanent” armistice [File: Mahmud Turkia/AFP]

Torture and murders

Libya fell into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Last month, the two main sides of the national war – the GNA and the LNA – agreed on a ceasefire.

Turkey supports the GNA. Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt support the LNA. These foreign powers were cited in earlier UN documents as arms suppliers against the arms embargo.

The United States and Germany wrote in their sanctions proposal that international human rights groups and the United Nations Political Mission in Libya, known as UNSMIL, have “received reports of hundreds of human rights violations committed by al-Kaniyat militia against individuals, state officials, committed militants and civil society activists caught in Tarhouna ”.

“Under the leadership of Mohammed al-Kani, the al-Kaniyat militia reportedly enforced disappearances, tortured and murdered people. In addition, UNSMIL reviewed numerous summary executions in Tarhouna prison carried out by al-Kaniyat militia on September 13, 2019, ”the proposal said.

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