Moscow stops UN blacklisting of Libyan militia

Moscow stops UN blacklisting of Libyan militia
A member of the Libyan security forces checks a driver's document as they are deployed in Misrata, Libya November 19, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 21 November 2020

Moscow stops UN blacklisting of Libyan militia

Moscow stops UN blacklisting of Libyan militia
  • Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011

NEW YORK: Russia has  stopped a UN Security Council committee from blacklisting a Libyan militia group and its leader for human rights abuses because it said it wanted to see more evidence first that they had killed civilians.
The US and Germany proposed that the council’s 15-member Libya sanctions committee impose an asset freeze and travel ban on the Al-Kaniyat militia and its leader Mohammed Al-Kani. Such a move has to be agreed upon by consensus, but Russia said it could not approve.
“Our support in the future is possible, but conditioned by the provision of an irrefutable evidence of their involvement in the killing of civilian populations,” a Russian diplomat told his Security Council colleagues in a note.
The Libyan city of Tarhouna, which was recaptured in June by the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), had for years been controlled by the Kaniyat militia run by the local Kani family, which fought alongside Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).
Last month, Libyan authorities dug 12 bodies from four more unmarked graves in Tarhouna, adding to the scores of corpses already discovered since June.
Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. Last month the two major sides in the country’s war — the GNA and the LNA — agreed on a cease-fire.
Turkey backs the GNA. Russia supports the LNA. Those foreign powers have been cited in earlier UN documents as supplying weapons in defiance of the arms embargo.
The US and Germany wrote in their sanctions proposal that international human rights groups and the UN political mission in Libya, known as UNSMIL, has “received reports of hundreds of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Al-Kaniyat militia against private individuals, state officials, captured fighters, and civil society activists in Tarhouna.”
“Under Mohammed Al-Kani’s leadership, the Al-Kaniyat militia has reportedly carried out enforced disappearances, torture, and killings.
“In addition, UNSMIL verified numerous summary executions at Tarhouna Prison conducted by the Al-Kaniyat militia on September 13, 2019,” the proposal read.


Iran plans to install more advanced atomic centrifuges underground: IAEA

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency said on December 2, 2020 Iran had begun operating advanced centrifuges at an underground section of its primary nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 56 min 53 sec ago

Iran plans to install more advanced atomic centrifuges underground: IAEA

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency said on December 2, 2020 Iran had begun operating advanced centrifuges at an underground section of its primary nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers says Tehran can only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, which are less efficient

VIENNA: Iran has told the UN nuclear watchdog it plans to install three more cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at its underground uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, the agency told member states on Friday in a report obtained by Reuters.

“Iran informed the Agency that the operator of the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz ‘intends to start installation of three cascades of IR-2m centrifuge machines’ at FEP,” the agency wrote, adding that the three cascades were in addition to one of IR-2m machines already used for enrichment there.

Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers says Tehran can only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, which are less efficient, at the underground plant and that those are the only machines Iran can accumulate enriched uranium with.