Tripoli, 19 March 2014:
The UN Security Council today voted unanimously to adopt a resolution condemning attempts to illicitly export oil from . . .[restrict]Libya and imposing sanctions on any vessels attempting to do so.
The move came after the tanker Morning Glory successfully loaded a shipment of crude oil from Sidra oil export terminal, which has been under the control of a group of federalists operating under Ibrahim Jadhran since August last year. The tanker escaped a naval blockade to sail into international waters but, while moored off Cyprus, was apprehended by a US vessel.
The Libyan authorities have been asked to inform the Security Council committee, which already oversees the arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze imposed by resolution 1970, of any vessels suspected of involvement in illegal oil exports.
Any such reported vessels would be designated “for some or all measures authorised in the resolution on a case-by-case basis for a period of 90 days,” the UN said. These could include prohibiting port entry and restricting nationals from making financial transactions with vessels carrying Libyan crude.
The country under which any such vessel was sailing would also be obliged to take necessary steps: “To direct the vessel not to load, transport or discharge such crude oil from Libya,” the UN said.
However, North Korea’s attempts to issue such instructions to the Morning Glory, including a plea made by the North Korean ambassador in Tripoli, did not prevent the loading of a reported 234,000 barrels of oil onto the tanker. At the time, sources said that the crew had been forced to load the oil by armed men.
North Korea then announced that the ship was in breach of contract, and removed its right to sail under the flag, rendering it a “state-less vessel.”
Under the resolution, UN member states will also be authorised to inspect suspect vessels designated by the committee and take suitable action to return illicitly-obtained oil to Libya.
The resolution was put forward by the US, a member of Tripoli’s diplomatic community told the Libya Herald.