After rebel forces captured Tripoli on 28 August 2011 and consolidated their position throughout the country, UNSCR 2009 (16 September 2011) lifted or relaxed many of the sanctions on the regime. The arms embargo allowed additional exemptions for arms intended for security or disarmament assistance to the new Libyan authorities and small arms for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), general aviation ban was terminated, and asset freeze on the Libyan National Oil Corporation lifted. On the same day, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to award the seat previously held by the Qadhafi regime to the new regime (114 to 17 in favor). After rebels killed Muamar Qadhafi on 20 October 2011, following 8 months of fighting, and the NTC proclaimed the official end of the war on 23 October 2011 in its Declaration of Liberation, UNSCR 2016 (27 October 2011) announced the UNSC’s intention to terminate the no-fly zone on 31 October 2011.
UNSCR 2017 (sponsored by Russia) on 31 October 2011 commissioned the Panel of Experts to assess security of MANPADs (shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles) and prevent their export from Libya. On 23 November 2011, the TNC formed a transitional government, designed to steer the country to elections (initially planned for June 2012). UNSCR 2040 (12 March 2012) extended the mandate of the UNSMIL, and further relaxed the sanctions: prior inspection of potential arms delivery was no longer required and the resolution called for the Committee to lift the asset freeze on the Libyan Investment Authority and Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio as soon as it was practical to do so (in consultation with the Libyan authorities). Asset freeze on the Central Bank of Libya and Libyan Foreign Bank was lifted in December 2011 (under no objection procedure).
Throughout 2012, the transitional government struggled to bring under control the armed militias that overthrew the Qadhafi government in 2011 and to manage a political transition to an elected government. The 11 September 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was only one of the nearly monthly attacks from militia groups. Following the 7 July 2012 elections, the transitional government turned over power to the General National Congress (GNC) on 8 August and, after months of difficulty in selecting a leader, Ali Zidan was sworn in as Prime Minister in November 2012.
The UN Support Mission in Libya and the Panel of Experts were both renewed in early 2013 in UNSCR 2095 (14 March 2013). The resolution further eased the arms embargo on non-lethal military equipment meant for humanitarian or protective use and decided that supplies of non-lethal military equipment and training destined for the Libyan government no longer required Committee approval. It also directed the Committee to review the conditions under which asset freeze on the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio might be lifted.
Several issues dominated the Council’s concern throughout 2013. First and foremost, the Libyan government continued to lack authority throughout its territory. Its security forces remained weak and local militias not only held power in important locations, but also began to challenge the authority of the transitional government, which worsened the security situation in late 2013. A 16 December 2013 Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2013/21) reiterated Security Council support for Libya’s elected political institutions and called on all parties to “engage in political dialogue and refrain from violence.” Second, the flow of arms from Libya into neighboring countries affected ongoing conflicts within and bordering on the Sahel region, with potential implications for other sanctions regimes. Third, jurisdictional disputes continued between the ICC and Libyan government over the trial of Saif al-Islam Qadhafi, son of the former leader of Libya Muamar Qadhafi. The case against Abdullah al-Senussi was ruled inadmissible by the Pre-Trial Chamber in October.
In the beginning of 2014, the country witnessed further deterioration of the security situation. After GNC unilaterally extended its mandate (which was due to expire on 7 February 2014), it faced a wave of anti-government protests and a failed 14 February 2014 coup attempt by General Khalifa Haftar, which led it to agree to early elections. The 20 February 2014 Constitutional Drafting Assembly elections went ahead despite security concerns and minority boycotts and legislative elections were set for June 2014. Overall, the sanctions regime remained focused on containing Qadhafi regime elements and loyalists, not on the ongoing conflict in the country.
Constrain remaining Qadhafi elements from challenging the NTC or its successor, the General National Congress (GNC), as the legitimate government of Libya, and prevent the export of MANPADs and other major weapons from the country and within the region.
Signal the legitimacy of the NTC and its elected successor, the GNC, as the legitimate government of Libya.
Ongoing asset freeze and travel ban on former regime elements and gradual relaxation of the arms imports (exempting security and disarmament assistance to Libyan authorities) and exports embargo and financial sector restrictions (Central Bank restrictions lifted in December 2011, conditions for sovereign wealth funds asset freeze were eased and partially lifted).
The aviation ban was terminated at the start of the episode (and the no-fly zone lifted as of November 2011).
Maximum number of designees during the episode: 20 individual travel ban and 15 individual and 4 entity asset freeze designees.
UN sanctions are likely to have significant impacts on the general population, since they include restrictions on the import of widely used commodities (such as oil), major commodity exports, and/or the transportation or financial sectors that affect the entire economy.
Sanctions Committee and Panel of Experts in place. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated. Enforcement authorities specified.
No specific demands for change of behavior were articulated in the relevant UNSCRs (2009, 2016, 2017, 2022, 2040 or 2095).
Sanctions were lifted on most activities of Libyan government financial institutions, but were retained on those believed to maintain linkages to key family members and Qadhafi regime supporters; pro-Qadhafi regime efforts to counter the NTC were absent. Panel of Experts reported continued flow of arms, including MANPADS, to countries in the region in February 2014.
The exile, arrest, or killing of key regime members and supporters, combined with military defeat, were the most significant factors in constraining targets.
The legitimacy of the NTC as a transitional government of Libya was established at the outset, but its successor, the GNC, faced serious ongoing challenges from local militias.
Relatively quick release of most funds and successive UNSCRs during the first half of the episode signaled recognition of NTC as the legitimate government, but degree of consolidation of the new regime away from its predecessor was due also to the death of Qadhafi, diplomatic recognition by many states, public opinion within Libya, and the prosecution of cases by the ICC.
Significant burden on implementing states, humanitarian consequences, and widespread harmful economic consequences (particularly during the early months of this episode, when sweeping financial sector sanctions were still in place).