UN envoy warns of missing Libya arms



UN envoy warns of missing Libya arms 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