European Union foreign ministers meeting today in Brussels to try and push forward the UNSMIL Peace Accord are reported to be preparing asset freezes and travel bans against five named Libyans.
According to a report seen by Reuters, the men to be sanctioned are Misratan politician and prominent Libya Dawn supporter Abdurrahman Sewehli, Misratan militia leader Salah Badi, anti-House of Representatives campaigner (despite being an elected member) Abdul-Raouf Al-Manaie, armed forces commander in chief General Khalifa Hafter, and Air Force commander Saqr Geroushi.
Swehli and Badi are accused of threatening violence against the peace deal’s proposed government of National Accord, while Hafter and Geroushi are cited because the EU maintains that they have both said that they will not respect the peace deal.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after the meeting only that the EU was prepared to imposed sanctions and was considering names. Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garci-Margallo added: “We can’t just sit here while tragedies are happening. If dialogue is not bringing progress, it seems to me to be logical to impose sanctions”.
According to Reuters, the EU had considered a total oil embargo. However, a confidential briefing paper seen by the news agency recommended sanctions targeted at a blacklist of key individuals.
Sewehli’s name, along with that of Zintani militia leader Othman Milaiqtah, was proposed to the UN Security Council last month in a resolution that was blocked by Russia and China. The proposal was widely ridiculed at the time as being concerned purely about been seen to give equal condemnation to both sides rather than focussing on those who were trying to sabotaging the process.
EU sanctions will probably hit Sewehli harder than the others since he is thought to have property and other assets in the UK. The others are not thought to have investments or cash in Europe or be planning to travel there.