UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Thursday sanctioned six people for involvement in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Libya after Russia lifted a hold it had set on the request for action against the individuals.
The Netherlands, backed by France, Germany, Britain and the United States, asked the 15-member council’s Libya sanctions committee last month to impose a global asset freeze and travel ban on the six people.
Russia had asked in May for more information on the proposed action. With the Russian hold lifted, the sanctions go into effect immediately.
Under a sanctions regime set up in 2011, the Security Council is able to impose a global asset freeze and travel ban on “individuals and entities involved in or complicit in ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Libya.”
The six people listed are Mus’Ab Abu-Qarin, Mohammed Kachlaf, Abd Al Rahman Al-Milad, Ermias Ghermay, Fitiwi Abdelrazak and Ahmad Oumar Al-Dabbashi.
Libya descended into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 led to the overthrow and killing of leader Muammar Gaddafi, with two competing governments backed by militias scrambling for control of the oil-producing country. Islamic State militants also gained a foothold in the North African state.
People smugglers operating with impunity in Libya have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants by sea to Europe, mainly Italy, since 2014. Thousands have died during the voyages.