UN: Libya Became Primary Source of Illegal Arms Trade in 14 Countries around World


Tripoli has become a source of the illicit weapons trade that is fueling conflicts in 14 countries around the world, Rwanda’s UN envoy said in a briefing to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“The panel noted that the control of non-state armed actors over the majority of stockpiles in Libya as well as ineffective border control systems remained primary obstacles to countering proliferation and that Libya had become a primary source of illicit weapons, including MANPADs (portable air defense systems),” Eugene Gasana said during the briefing, Voice of Russia reported.

The envoy noted that inability to secure order in the country gave an opportunity to radical elements around the region to receive lethal weapons.

“Transfers to 14 countries reflected a highly diversified range of trafficking dynamics; and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and insecurity – including terrorism – on several continents,” he said.

A UN arms embargo was imposed on Libya at the start of an uprising in 2011 that ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi. The fragile government is struggling to rein in dozens of militias that helped oust Gaddafi and now defy state authority.

Libya has been trying to rebuild its army since Gaddafi’s overthrow, but analysts say it is not yet a match for battle-hardened militias that fought in the eight-month uprising that toppled him.

The rebels have seized three ports and partly control a fourth in the OPEC member country. Officials said on Monday that Libya’s parliament has ordered a special force to be sent within one week to “liberate” all rebel-held ports.