UN reports Libyan weapons have turned up in 12 countries

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — Libyan weapons have been proliferating at an alarming
rate, the United Nations said.

A UN report asserted that Libyan weapons were fueling conflicts
throughout the Middle East and Africa. The Security Council’s Group of
Experts said Libya has become the key source of heavy weapons, including
anti-tank systems, in North Africa.

A UN report pointed to the huge numbers of weapons circulating in post-Gadhafi Libya.
A UN report pointed to the huge numbers of weapons circulating in and out of post-Gadhafi Libya.

“Cases, both proven and under investigation, of illicit transfers from
Libya in violation of the embargo cover more than 12 countries and include heavy and light weapons, including man-portable air defense systems, small arms and related ammunition and explosives and mines,” the report said.

Released on April 9, the UN report cited the flow of Libyan weapons in
Egypt, Mali and Syria. In a 94-page report, the UN experts said the arms
flow was facilitated by the lack of authority in Libya, where militias remain in control of much of the country.

“Illicit flows from the country are fueling existing conflicts in Africa and the Levant and enriching the arsenals of a range of non-state actors, including terrorist groups,” the report, dated Feb. 15, said. “The
proliferation of weapons from Libya continues at an alarming rate.”

A key threat was the Libyan arms flow to the Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
The UN said a range of weapons were moving through Sinai to the Hamas-ruled
Gaza Strip.

“While trafficking from Libya to Egypt represents a challenge primarily
for Egypt’s internal security, in particular in relation to armed groups in
the Sinai, some of the materiel appears to have crossed Egypt to further
destinations, including the Gaza Strip,” the report said.

Other destinations of Libyan weapons were said to have been Algeria,
Niger and Tunisia. The report said weapons were also flowing to Libya from
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which did not confirm the assertion.

“Some 18 months after the end of the conflict, some of this materiel
remains under the control of non-state actors within Libya and has been
found in seizures of military materiel being trafficked out of Libya,” the
report said. “Civilians and brigades remain in control of most of the
weapons in the country, while the lack of an effective security system
remains one of the primary obstacles to securing military materiel and
controlling the borders.”

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