UN experts concerned Libya arms could be diverted to militias

By REUTERS
March 7, 2015 02:14
1 minute read.

 
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UNITED NATIONS - UN sanctions monitors said on Friday they are concerned that if a United Nations Security Council committee approves a request by Libya's government for weapons, tanks and jets, some of the equipment could be diverted to militias supporting them.

The experts, who monitor violations of an arms embargo imposed on Libya in 2011, said in a letter - obtained by Reuters - that arms could also end up in the hands of other militia after battles or if Libyan troops lose control of stockpiles.

Libya's internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has operated out of the east since a rival armed faction called Libya Dawn took over Tripoli in fighting last year and set up its own administration.

The rival governments and their allies are battling for control of Libya four years after a civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi. The chaos has allowed Islamic State and Ansar al-Sharia militants to use their foothold in Libya, an OPEC member.

The internationally-recognized government is allowed to import arms with approval of the 15-member Security Council committee overseeing the embargo. Libya asked the committee for weapons and military equipment to take on Islamist militants and to control borders.

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