Russia blocks UN sanctions against Libya's al-Kaniyat militia

Russia on Friday stopped a U.N. Security Council committee from blacklisting Libya's al-Kaniyat militia and its leader Mohammed al-Kani over human rights abuses because it said it wanted to see more evidence first that they had killed civilians, Reuters reports.

The United States and Germany had proposed that the council’s 15-member Libya sanctions committee impose an asset freeze and travel ban on the . Such a move has to be agreed by consensus, but Russia said it could not approve.

“Our support in the future is possible, but conditioned by provision of an irrefutable evidence of their involvement in killing of civilian populations,” a Russian diplomat told his Security Council colleagues in a note seen by Reuters.

The Libyan city of Tarhouna, which was recaptured in June by the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), had for years been controlled by the Kaniyat militia run by the local Kani family, which fought alongside Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

Last month Libyan authorities dug 12 bodies from four more unmarked graves in Tarhouna, adding to the scores of corpses already discovered since June.

Mohammed al-Kani in Germany

Despite German backing for the sanctions however, Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed in September that Al-Kani had received been receiving medical treatment in Bonn.

Mohammed Al Kani​

The newspaper said Al-Kani received medical treatment at the university hospital of Bonn in January and February 2018 due to wounds he suffered in the war on Tripoli.

"The International Criminal Court has informed relevant German authorities of the presence of Al-Kani in Bonn and his charges, urging them to open investigations into those charges in Germany, yet he managed to leave Bonn to Libya in mid-February," according to the newspaper, which said Al-Kani obtained a visa to Germany in 2017 and afterwards continued to visit the country with a residence permit for cancer treatment.

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