Libya: respect for the arms embargo is more necessary than ever [fr]
Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 10 June 2019
France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2473 (2019), renewing for one year the Security Council’s authorization of the European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA) in order to effectively enforce the arms embargo on Libya at sea.
France remains extremely concerned by the situation in Libya, in particular the ongoing fighting and its potential consequences for the countries of the region. We remain convinced that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and that only a political process can enable a return to stability in Libya.
It is in order to support this political process that France also reiterates its call for the implementation of an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. At the same time, the parties to the conf lict must commit to the dialogue led by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé, for whom France reiterates its full support.
In that context, which is undermining the political dynamic and reinforcing instability in the country, respect for the arms embargo is more necessary than ever.
Operation SOPHIA continues to play an important role in stabilizing Libya. Its deterrent function limits the violations of the arms embargo and reduces the flow of weapons that continue to cross the seas and have only aggravated the situation since the beginning of the offensive. While the operation’s resources have been temporarily suspended, operation SOPHIA has refocused its efforts and remains active in order to implement the mandate it has been given through:
• its training of the Libyan coast guard and its monitoring of that entity’s activities in order to ensure that they are operationally effective and that human rights are being respected. Its action also allows the Libyan authorities to make their due contribution to the fight against weapons trafficking.
• Furthermore, the operation is using its aerial resources to collect intelligence and the information that is needed to maintain the arms embargo.
Within the European Union, we will continue to contribute to the efforts of operation SOPHIA. To that end, the operation must continue to benefit from its authorization under resolution 2292 (2016), which has been extended today in resolution 2473 (2019), in order to enjoy the legitimacy and means necessary to act appropriately.