The UN Security Council on Monday renewed its authorization of a European Union mission to combat arms smuggling off Libyas coast amid calls for tougher action to cut the flow of weapons.
The council voted unanimously to extend the work of Operation Sophia until June 2020. It was meeting more than two months after the forces of Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to seize Tripoli, the seat of the UN-recognized government.
Germany told the council that arms supplies delivered in violation of a UN embargo were the main obstacle to ending the fighting in Tripoli and resuming political talks.
“A seemingly unlimited arms supply fuels the erroneous belief in the military solution to the conflict and contributes to the unwillingness of actors on the ground to agree on a ceasefire and resume a political process,” said Germanys Deputy UN Ambassador Juergen Schulz.
“It is time to redouble our efforts, to assume our responsibility and … find ways to finally implement the arms embargo effectively,” he told the council.
France said upholding the embargo was a priority “now more than ever,” while Britain warned that the weapons flow is harming prospects for a ceasefire. Belgium and South Africa expressed similar concerns.