The motto of the Berlin conference on Libya: “No outside interference” is contradicted daily

The arms embargo, the enforcement of which made the Berlin trial one of its main issues, is not being observed.

Source: Sean Gallup via Getty Images

One and a half weeks after the Berlin conference on Libya, it doesn’t look as if decisive things will change in the misery in the country. Instead, sea rescue operations give the impression that flight impulses are stronger than ever.

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The arms embargo, the enforcement of which made the “Berlin trial” one of its main issues, is not being observed. The UN support mission in Libya denounces significant violations. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) statement reads that numerous aircraft have been observed over the past ten days to bring cargo into the country that supplies the military parties with sophisticated weapons, armored vehicles, military advisers and fighters. ,

The road to the ceasefire, which the Berlin process should pave, still has a long and arduous journey ahead of it. Because, as the continued arms deliveries testify, the fighting parties continue to prepare themselves for the fact that important gains are not achieved through political processes, but, as before, with military means. Recent rocket attacks on Mitiga Airport indicate that the old range of funds remains when it comes to pursuing targets in Libya.

“No more interference from outside,” was the motto that was highlighted at the Berlin conference, which was at least made up of high-caliber participants. According to the impression given by the above observations, these are not particularly serious declarations of intent, as both the United Arab Emirates and Turkey continue to be involved in the Libyan scene. Both countries have enough “pledges” or weight so that they do not have to fear overly critical countermeasures for their Libyan activities.

How important the support of the United Arab Emirates is for large-scale political plans can be seen in the large “peace plan” that Trump and Netanyahu currently presented (Trump’s peace plan: construction of a prison state). And from Berlin, parallel to the ambitions for the Libyan political process, there is a treadmill of political communications that constantly assure Ankara how important the partnership with Turkey is for “geopolitical reasons”. The fact that Erdogan supports the unity government in Libya (GNA), which came about only through the mediation of the UN, and which also receives great financial help from the EU, does not speak with some other points that there are actually relevant countermeasures from Berlin Erdogan’s Libya “engagement” will take place.

It is striking that the private sea rescuers had a lot to do again these days with cold water and air temperatures. With almost 500 rescued migrants on board, the rescue ships Alan Kurdi and Ocean Viking are waiting for the pledges from Malta to take over the migrants and from Rome that the migrants can be brought to an Italian port. The Open Arms rescue ship is also said to have 158 people on board and is still waiting for commitments to a safe harbor.

The report of the time confirms the impression that smaller reports on social networks, especially Twitter, show that there are currently an astonishing number of rescue operations – including from the Libyan coast guard.

Apparently there was a remarkable collaboration. For example, two Turkish warships, the frigates Gabya and Gaziantepo, are said to have taken in migrants and to hand them over to the Libyan coast guard to bring them back to Libya (see also here). However, the message circulating on social networks has not yet been officially confirmed. It has some plausibility as Turkey should cooperate with the coast guard overseen by the GNA, as was discussed in the security agreement between Turkey and the Libyan unity government.

The use of the two Turkish warships off the Libyan coast has made them the subject of speculation because their presence was interpreted by some as further military aid for the GNA government. Turkey would be numbered four by warships – in some places – that GNA would support militarily, for example by strengthening air defense, was an assumption that is spreading quite a bit.

This is contrasted by the explanation that the Turkish frigates had only participated in the NATO operation “Sea Guardian” and had no further plans on the coast off Libya and that the sea rescue took place by chance. Statements given to the Turkish government support the view that the frigates were used only within the NATO framework. The following days and weeks will clarify the type of operation. The question of how best to deal with migrants from Libya remains open for a long time.

The author of the article is Thomas Pany. Thomas Pany studied political science with Kurt Sontheimer at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, plus modern history and Semitic studies. The original article has been published in Telepolis. Translation and editing by Defenseweek’s team.

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