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UN warns of possible sanctions against Libyan factions

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The United Nations (UN) warned about possible sanctions against rival Libyan political leaders if they were deemed to be deliberately blocking attempts to broker a settlement between country’s warring factions.

According to Reuters, Rival Libyan political leaders could face European asset freeze and travel sanctions. The European Union (EU) has previously considered travel bans and asset freezes against five Libyan military commanders threatening violence against a future government.

Diplomats said, Friday, that sanctions are back on the agenda. The option of the UN sanctions would be better, adding “if we can’t do that we can go through the EU. We will at some point need to look at who meets the conditions for these sanctions,”.

One diplomat confirmed that political decisions should be taken, so the national accord can work, referring that any sanctions would be still in coordination with the UN envoy, Bernardino Leon.

He added that “we are at a crunch time, we need the political leadership to take political decisions so the national accord can work. Those who prevent that from happening need to see there will be consequences.”

The EU last discussed sanctions at ambassadorial level in Brussels, they are likely to be discussed again at the next EU foreign ministers meeting in mid-November.

After months of negotiations, Leon presented rival parties with proposed Government of National Accord (GNA), but hardliners on both sides resisted any power sharing deal and talks have stalled.

Last week, Leon said that the negotiations continued with both parties, and warned factional leaders not to obstruct attempts to create unity government.

Western powers back the proposed unity government, as it is the only way to end the conflict between parties vying for power for more than four years. They promised more aid to the future government, worried that islamist militias and people smugglers have gained more foot on Libya’s chaos.