Kazakhstan suspends three airlines for breaching UN arms embargo on Libya

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Kazakhstan has barred three air carriers from operating for violating a UN Security Council embargo covering the supply of arms to Libya, the Central Asian country’s government said Wednesday.

A statement on the website of the Kazakh industry ministry said that it had stripped the locally held licenses of Azee Air, Sigma Airlines and Jenis Air.

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The statement said that the UN Security Council had informed Kazakhstan via a letter that the trio were violating the embargo in February of this year.

Flights by the three air carriers to Libya “were carried out from third countries,” the ministry said, noting that it was not Kazakhstan’s responsibility to monitor the airlines’ activities outside of Kazakhstan.

UN officials have long warned that deliveries of foreign-made weapons to Libya are undermining peace efforts.

Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on three companies – one of them Turkish – for breaching the UN arms embargo on Libya, drawing an angry reaction from Ankara.

Since 2014, it has been split, with a government controlling the capital, Tripoli, and the northwest, while military leader Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi rules the east.

Haftar is supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, while the GNA is backed by Turkey.

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