The European Union has imposed sanctions on three firms for breaking a UN arms embargo on Libya. Two individuals were also sanctioned for involvement with supplying military equipment material to the country. 

EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed to sanctions against entities that violated the UN embargo on arms flowing into Libya. 

The measures target three companies — from Jordan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey — as well as two individuals for providing planes, ships and other logistics to funnel combat equipment into Libya.

The 2011 toppling of dictator Moammar Gadhafi plunged Libya into chaos, making it a battleground for rival forces. The UN weapons embargo was imposed that year, although this has often been broken.

Libya has two competing administrations: The Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and a government in the eastern city of Tobruk. The Tobruk-based administration is aligned with the leader of the so-called Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

Read more: EU should ‘threaten military intervention’ in Libya: Wolfgang Ischinger

Haftar has been laying siege to Tripoli since April 2019, seeking to take it from the control of the UN-recognized GNA, which is backed by both Turkey and Qatar. He has the support of Egypt, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Almost all countries involved in the conflict promised to stop supplying the warring factions with fighters and weapons at a summit in Berlin in January.  However, neither side fully kept to this.

The EU is particularly keen to see the dispute resolved, because the fighting in Libya has made conditions easier for people smugglers take migrants to Europe to operate in the Mediterranean Sea.

rc/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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