The European Union Mulls Sanctions on Libya

By William Stroupe

France has proposed that the European Union impose sanctions on Libya to nudge the country’s fractious political factions towards the creation of a unity government. Though the country has an internationally recognized parliament, two separate parliaments have competed for primacy since 2014 when an Islamist militia ousted the internationally recognized government from Tripoli. Previous UN efforts to merge the governments have failed. Sanctions would target leaders of both groups in an attempt to force them to the negotiating table. The unstable situation in Libya has become increasingly urgent as ISIS gains an increasingly strong foothold thanks to the political vacuum. France and other EU countries have expressed concerns that expelling ISIS, or even limiting its growth in Libya, will be impossible without a unity government. The creation of a unity government is a precondition to any military intervention or aid against ISIS from the EU. Tentative talks on UN sanctions quickly broke down in the Security Council.