Friday, 11 November 2016

Extension of UN sanctions against Libya

[On this date in 1993 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 883 that extended the sanctions against Libya that had been imposed on 31 March 1992 by Resolution 748. What follows is excerpted from an article on the MEDEA website:]

On 11 November 1993, the Security Council imposed, by resolution 883, more sanctions: Libyan assets abroad should be frozen, with the exception of the revenues of oil exports, and export to Libya of some equipment for the oil and gas industry was prohibited; the offices of Libyan Arab Airlines abroad had to be closed and all help to Libyan civil aviation (sale of airplanes and spare parts, training of pilots…) was also prohibited. The US, who already severed commercial and economic links with Libya and froze Libyan assets in the US in 1986, widened so its sanctions to other countries in 1996. The US Congress went even further by voting the Iran-Libyan Sanctions Act under which sanctions would be imposed on foreign countries that invest more than 40 million $ a year in the Iranian or Libyan oil and gas industries.

While refusing to hand over the suspects, Libya was seeking a way out of the problem. Colonel Qaddafi in many occasions said that he would not oppose himself if the two decided, voluntarily, to hand over themselves and insisted constantly on a fair and honest trial, that would be impossible in Scotland or the United States. He proposed different other possibilities: a trial in Libya, the jurisdiction of the Arab League, an Islamic Tribunal in the UK or elsewhere and a trial in another, neutral country. His latest proposal was a trial in the Netherlands with Scottish judges under Scottish law.

Until 1998, the United States and the United Kingdom rejected all these proposals and wanted Libya simply to hand over the suspects to them.

In the meantime, Libya started proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague which in February 1998 ruled that it had jurisdiction to hear the case and concluded that Libya’s application was admissible.

In August 1998, following the ruling of the International Court of Justice, the US and UK revised their stand and agreed to a trial in the Netherlands with a tribunal of Scottish judges. Consequently, the Security Council endorsed, on 27 August 1998, by resolution 1192 this new development and stated that all UN sanctions would be suspended as soon as the two Libyan suspects would be in the Netherlands.

[RB: UN sanctions against Libya were eventually removed on 12 September 2003 by Security Council Resolution 1506.]

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