UN mulls blacklisting alleged human trafficking leaders in Libya

The United Nations Security Council is considering a proposal to sanction six leaders accused of human trafficking in Libya.

The news comes as the council discusses whether the situation in the country is conducive for elections planned for later this year.

The U.N. envoy for Libya has warned political and economic conditions remain perilous due to the presence of various armed groups.

The U.N. Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salame said armed groups, determined to hold onto power, were halting the aspirations of millions of Libyans.

Corruption and trafficking was at the core of what he called a perverse economic model. That Salame said, must be shattered.

To that end the Security Council has discussed blacklisting six alleged leaders of human trafficking and smuggling networks.

Russia is however reportedly blocking the Western nations’ proposal, questioning whether such a move would prove effective.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the Council that to NOT impose these sanctions would be a travesty.

Libya has not had a stable government since the 2011 ouster and killing of long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s death created a vacuum that various militant and trafficking groups took advantage of to set base in the country.

An ensuing battle for power then plunged the country into crisis, killing thousands and displacing millions others.

It is hoped that elections can be held by the end of this year, a move backed by the UN, the European Union, the African Union, and the Arab League.

An attack on the national election commission in Tripoli earlier this month has however raised questions about whether insecurity in the country will allow elections to take place.