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Canada's Response to the Situation in Libya

The Government of Canada has lifted the unilateral economic sanctions it imposed on Libya on February 27, 2011. Now that the Gaddafi regime no longer holds power, the Government of Canada has repealed the imposed economic sanctions in support of the Libyan people and the new governing authorities.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada has lifted its sanctions in Paris, France on Thursday September 1, 2011.

Canada’s Role in Libya

Canada's military mission has not changed. Its armed forces are playing a leading role preventing attacks and the threat of attacks against civilians. This intervention is in response to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the use of all necessary means to protect civilians in Libya.

Operation MOBILE is the Canadian Forces’ participation in Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, the NATO-led effort to impose on Libya the arms embargo and no-fly zone authorized in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 of 17 March 2011, which called on the international community to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas in Libya. Op UNIFIED PROTECTOR was launched on 22 March as a NATO maritime mission enforcing the arms embargo on Libya originally described in Resolution 1970 of 26 February 2011 and strengthened in Resolution 1973. Canada is one of the original members of the coalition engaged in Op UNIFIED PROTECTOR.

Canada interacts with the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the Libyan government until Libyans select for themselves democratic representatives.

Background

The unanimous passing of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 sent a very clear message: the murder of its own citizens by the Libyan regime, and the gross violations of the population's human rights will not be tolerated by the international community, and will carry serious consequences.

On September 16, 2011, the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, adopted Resolution 2009 (2011), which amended the sanctions in place against Libya by easing the arms embargo and partially lifting the assets freeze. These changes were implemented in Canada in the form of amendments to the existing Regulations.

Canada had therefore implemented the following binding sanctions contained in the UNSC Resolution:

  • An arms embargo requiring all states to prevent the sale or supply of arms into Libya, or the export of arms from Libya;
  • The inspection of cargo going into Libya;
  • A travel ban on Muammar Qadhafi and 15 individuals closely associated with him; and
  • An asset freeze against Muammar Qadhafi and members of his family.

Travel

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel to Libya, except for Tripoli and the Benghazi area, for which we advise against non-essential travel.

Any friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Libya should contact DFAIT's Emergency Operations Centre at by calling toll-free, 1-800-387-3124 or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

Canadian citizens in Libya requiring consular assistance should contact the Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa at 00-1-613-996-8885 or send an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

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