Russia on Friday stopped a U.N. 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, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The United States 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 by consensus, but Russia said it could not approve.
“Our support in the future is possible, but conditioned by provision of an irrefutable evidence of their involvement in killing of civilian populations,” a Russian diplomat told his Security Council colleagues in a note seen by Reuters.
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 leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Last month the two major sides in the country’s war - the GNA and the LNA - agreed a ceasefire.