UN envoy warns of missing Libya arms

Last Updated: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 00:40

Tripoli: Some weapons depots in Libya have
still not been secured properly, and "much has already gone
missing" from unguarded sites, the top UN envoy in Libya said
in an interview on Sunday.

Preventing more weapons from being smuggled out of
country will be difficult, considering the nature of the vast
desert nation`s borders, the envoy, Ian Martin, told a news agency.

"That has to be a priority now, to secure what still
remains in Libya," he said. "Over time, the international
community can assist Libya and its neighbors with that, but I
am afraid there is not a quick and easy solution to that
problem."

During the chaos of Libya`s 8-month civil war, human
rights groups and reporters came across a number of weapons
depots that were left unguarded and were looted after Muammar
Gaddafi`s fighters fled.

Martin said the unsecured weapons remain a "very, very
serious cause for concern." He said they include shoulder-held
missiles, mines and ammunition.

Martin noted progress concerning chemical weapons and
nuclear material. Last week, Libyan officials said they
discovered two new sites with chemical weapons that had not
been declared by the Gaddafi regime when it vowed several
years ago to stop pursuing non-conventional weapons. Officials
also said they found about 7,000 drums of raw uranium.

"That, too, has been secured," Martin said of the latest
discoveries, noting that the main issue is now how to dispose
of them.

PTI



First Published: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 00:40
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