UN ‘gravely concerned’ over Tunisia detention of Libya expert

The UN said Tunisia are violating the immunities Moncef Kartas enjoys. (AFP/File)
Updated 13 April 2019
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UN ‘gravely concerned’ over Tunisia detention of Libya expert

  • Tunisian authorities accuse the expert of spying
  • The UN sent four separate legal notes to Tunisia

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations has expressed its “grave concern” over the detention in Tunisia of a UN expert tasked with investigating violations of a Libya arms embargo.
“The arrest and detention by the Tunisian authorities of Moncef Kartas... while he was performing his official duties is a matter of very grave concern,” the spokesman for the UN secretary-general said in a statement Friday.
Tunisian Moncef Kartas was arrested in Tunis on March 26 along with a fellow national on suspicion of “spying for foreign parties,” according to Tunisian authorities.
Kartas was on Thursday brought before an investigative judge who “decided to continue” his detention, Stephane Dujarric said.
“The continued detention is in violation of the privileges and immunities that Mr. Kartas enjoys,” he added.
The UN has engaged with Tunisia’s government “at the highest levels,” according to the spokesman, making clear its legal position through four separate legal notes.
But the government had “failed to provide an adequate response,” he said.
Tunisia’s interior ministry said last month “confidential documents containing sensitive detailed data capable of harming national security” were seized in relation to UN expert’s arrest.
It also alleged technical equipment for jamming and intercepting communications — banned in Tunisia — had been confiscated.
Kartas was appointed to the panel of experts in 2016, tasked with investigating violations of an arms embargo on Libya.
The panel reports to the UN sanctions committee on Libya and details its findings in an annual report. An interim report is due in June.
Previous reports by the panel have found that arms and ammunition have repeatedly been delivered to warring parties in Libya in violation of the UN embargo, with the involvement of member states.


Italy urges EU to ready plan for Libya refugee flight, work on joint initiative

Updated 24 April 2019
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Italy urges EU to ready plan for Libya refugee flight, work on joint initiative

  • Moavero was speaking at joint news conference in Rome with Ghassan Salame
  • Moavero says situation in Libya required a lot of “time and support”

ROME: Italy’s government has written to the European Union asking it to ready a plan of action to deal with a possible flight of refugees from the armed conflict in Libya, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero said on Wednesday.
Moavero was speaking at a joint news conference in Rome after talks with the UN envoy on Libya, Ghassan Salame.
He also said that the European Union was working on developing a Europe-wide initiative for the country, as the bloc fears the emergence of fresh terrorist activities.
Moavero said the situation in Libya required a lot of “time and support.”