Mpves were under way this evening at the United Nations in New York to impose asset freezes and travel bans on two Libyans who have been deemed to be obstructing the peace process.
Reuters has said that it has seen the draft proposal from France, Spain, the UK and the United States, which says that these individual sanctions would “send a clear signal that spoilers of the political process will not be tolerated” and added that the move could persuade more Libyan moderates to participate in the Morocco talks.
The two men who stand to be sanctioned tomorrow evening are Abdulrahman Sewehli and Othman Milaiqtah. Sewehli has been elected by voters in Misrata to both the General National Congress and the House of Representatives. However, he has boycotted the latter while remaining is a rump member of the former. Milaiqtah is the the commander of Zintan’s Qaaqaa Brigade. By choosing one person from each side, the UN appears to be determined to maintain its policy of treating both groups as equals.
The UN Security council’s Libya sanctions committee has until 8pm Libya time tomorrow, Friday, to object to the blacklisting. If none of the 15 members disapproves, the sanctions will come into force automatically.
The proposal asserts that via the ban on the two men “the Security Council should send an unambiguous signal of support to those moderates who may be leery of political participation due to their support for one side or another”.
The UN Libya sanctions committee began work last August after the Security Council voted unanimously to take action against individuals or organisations that were seen to be threatening Libya’s stability and democratic progress. A preliminary list was reportedly completed last December.
The action is expected to have greater effect on Sewehli than on Milaiqtah. Having lived for years in the UK, Sewehli is said to have assets there.
By Hadi Fornaji