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UN leaves Libya arms embargo unchanged
March 29, 2015
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UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) expressed concern on Friday at the proliferation of arms and ammunition in Libya as it left an arms embargo on the North African state unchanged and urged the recognised government to improve monitoring of its weapons.

Libya and neighboring Egypt asked the 15-member council last month to lift restrictions on government weapons imports so it could better fight extremist groups after Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.

Libya has descended into factional fighting, leaving the country almost lawless nearly four years after the fall of Muammar Qadhafi.

Two competing governments backed by militia brigades are scrambling for control of the oil-producing country and the chaos has created havens for militants.

Libya’s internationally recognized government, led by 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 Libyan government is already allowed to import weapons and related materiel with the approval of a Security Council committee overseeing the embargo imposed in 2011 when Qadhafi forces cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

The Security Council has long urged Libya to improve monitoring of its weapons over concerns that some government arms were being diverted to militant groups. It renewed that appeal on Friday in a unanimously adopted resolution that renewed the UN political mission in Libya for another year.

It also said it was “gravely concerned at the growing trend of terrorist groups in Libya to proclaim allegiance to Daesh.”

The council also unanimously adopted a second resolution, proposed by Egypt last month, focusing on counterterrorism efforts in Libya.

It calls upon the UN committee overseeing the arms embargo to “consider expeditiously” Libyan requests for weapons shipments.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the unanimous vote showed that the international community “speaks with one voice” on Libya and supports efforts to form a unity government.

Agencies

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